Reference : Self-assembly of binary colloidal nanocrystals
Dissertations and theses : Doctoral thesis
Physical, chemical, mathematical & earth Sciences : Physics
Physics and Materials Science
Self-assembly of binary colloidal nanocrystals
Mravlak, Marko mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication (FSTC) > Physics and Materials Science Research Unit >]
University of Luxembourg, ​Luxembourg, ​​Luxembourg
Docteur en Physique
Schilling, Tanja mailto
Lagerwall, Jan mailto
Kraus, Tobias mailto
van der Schoot, Paul mailto
Wirtz, Ludger mailto
[en] soft-matter physics ; self-assembly ; colloids ; nanoparticles ; icosahedra ; Monte Carlo ; basin-hopping ; molecular dynamics ; nanoscience
[en] The synthesis of functional nanoparticles is an important step in the hierarchical construction of hybrid materials for nanotechnological applications. A useful path to build these components is to use colloidal nanocrystals that can spontaneously agglomerate into ordered structures under confinement. The focus of this thesis is to explore the diversity of superstructures that can be self-assembled using binary dispersions where the dispersed colloids have spherical or quasi-spherical shapes and interact through simple potentials with repulsive cores and short-range attractions. Using computer simulations we demonstrate that agglomeration experiments with heterogeneous binary mixtures of nanoparticles can be exploited for the synthesis of structured clusters which are proposed as potential intermediate building blocks in hierarchical self-assembly of colloidal molecules and crystals. To describe the structural properties of aggregates resulting from confined mixtures of particles with heterogeneous attractions we analyse the structure diagrams of binary Lennard-Jones clusters by means of a basin-hopping global optimisation approach for a broad range of cluster sizes, compositions and interaction energies and present a large database of minimal energy structures. We identify a variety of structures such as core-shell clusters, Janus clusters and clusters in which the minority species is located at the vertices of icosahedra. For a binary mixture with heterogeneous particle diameters we use molecular dynamics simulations to demonstrate that pressure-dependent inter-particle potentials affect the self-assembly route of the confined particles. This is in agreement with experiments where crystalline superlattices, Janus particles, and core-shell particle arrangements form in the same dispersions for moderate changes in the working pressure or the surfactant that sets the Laplace pressure inside the droplets. Comparison of experimental analysis and simulations confirms that the onset of self-assembly depends on particle size and pressure. Finally, we explore regular superlattices into which clusters can arrange by investigating the equilibrium phase behaviour for a monodisperse system of Mackay icosahedra. Monte Carlo simulations show that either a fluid phase, a crystal phase or rotator phases with different degrees of rotational correlations form. We analyse the correlations using the positional and orientational pair correlation functions and find that the densest lattice packing of hard icosahedra is stable at finite temperatures.
University of Luxembourg
Fonds National de la Recherche - FnR
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students
FnR ; FNR6543214 > Jan Peter Felix Lagerwall > AGGLO > Agglomeration und Anordnung von Nanopartikeln in eingeschränkter Geometrie > 01/11/2013 > 31/10/2016 > 2012

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