We study by Monte Carlo simulation the coating process of colloidal dimers onto spherical nanoparticles. To this end we investigate a simplified mixture of hard spheres (the guest particles) and hard dimers formed by two tangent spheres of different sizes (the encapsulating agents) in an implicit-solvent representation; in our scheme, the range of effective interactions between the smaller particle in a dimer and a guest sphere depends on their relative size. By tuning the size and concentration of guests, under overall dilute conditions a rich phase behavior emerges: for small sizes and/or low concentrations, the preferred arrangement is compact aggregates (capsules) of variable sizes, where one or few guest particles are coated with dimers; for larger sizes and moderate guest concentrations, other scenarios are realized, including equilibrium separation between a guest-rich and a guest-poor phase. Our results serve as a framework for a more systematic investigation of self-assembled structures of functionalized dimers capable of encapsulating target particles, like for instance bioactive substances in a colloidal dispersion.

Encapsulation of spherical nanoparticles by colloidal dimers

MUNAO', GIANMARCO
Primo
;
COSTA, Dino
Secondo
;
PRESTIPINO GIARRITTA, Santi
Penultimo
;
CACCAMO, Carlo
Ultimo
2016

Abstract

We study by Monte Carlo simulation the coating process of colloidal dimers onto spherical nanoparticles. To this end we investigate a simplified mixture of hard spheres (the guest particles) and hard dimers formed by two tangent spheres of different sizes (the encapsulating agents) in an implicit-solvent representation; in our scheme, the range of effective interactions between the smaller particle in a dimer and a guest sphere depends on their relative size. By tuning the size and concentration of guests, under overall dilute conditions a rich phase behavior emerges: for small sizes and/or low concentrations, the preferred arrangement is compact aggregates (capsules) of variable sizes, where one or few guest particles are coated with dimers; for larger sizes and moderate guest concentrations, other scenarios are realized, including equilibrium separation between a guest-rich and a guest-poor phase. Our results serve as a framework for a more systematic investigation of self-assembled structures of functionalized dimers capable of encapsulating target particles, like for instance bioactive substances in a colloidal dispersion.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/3094548
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