Building structures with hierarchical order through the self-assembly of smaller blocks is not only a prerogative of nature, but also a strategy to design artificial materials with tailored functions. We explore in simulation the spontaneous assembly of colloidal particles into extended structures, using spheres and size-asymmetric dimers as solute particles, while treating the solvent implicitly. Besides rigid cores for all particles, we assume an effective short-range attraction between spheres and small monomers to promote, through elementary rules, dimer-mediated aggregation of spheres. Starting from a completely disordered configuration, we follow the evolution of the system at low temperature and density, as a function of the relative concentration of the two species. When spheres and large monomers are of same size, we observe the onset of elongated aggregates of spheres, either disconnected or cross-linked, and a crystalline bilayer. As spheres grow bigger, the self-assembling scenario changes, getting richer overall, with the addition of flexible membrane sheets with crystalline order and monolayer vesicles. With this wide assortment of structures, our model can serve as a viable template to achieve a better control of self-assembly in dilute suspensions of microsized particles.

Complex Self-Assembly from Simple Interaction Rules in Model Colloidal Mixtures

S: Prestipino
;
G. Munaò;D. Costa
2019

Abstract

Building structures with hierarchical order through the self-assembly of smaller blocks is not only a prerogative of nature, but also a strategy to design artificial materials with tailored functions. We explore in simulation the spontaneous assembly of colloidal particles into extended structures, using spheres and size-asymmetric dimers as solute particles, while treating the solvent implicitly. Besides rigid cores for all particles, we assume an effective short-range attraction between spheres and small monomers to promote, through elementary rules, dimer-mediated aggregation of spheres. Starting from a completely disordered configuration, we follow the evolution of the system at low temperature and density, as a function of the relative concentration of the two species. When spheres and large monomers are of same size, we observe the onset of elongated aggregates of spheres, either disconnected or cross-linked, and a crystalline bilayer. As spheres grow bigger, the self-assembling scenario changes, getting richer overall, with the addition of flexible membrane sheets with crystalline order and monolayer vesicles. With this wide assortment of structures, our model can serve as a viable template to achieve a better control of self-assembly in dilute suspensions of microsized particles.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/3146901
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