University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Theory - Chemistry Research Interest Group > Predicting and Designing the Self-Assembly of Colloidal Particles: A Computer Game

Predicting and Designing the Self-Assembly of Colloidal Particles: A Computer Game

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Formal Materials - Theory Seminar

The ability of atomic, colloidal, and nanoparticles to self-organize into highly ordered crystalline structures makes the prediction of crystal structures in these systems an important challenge for science. The question itself is deceivingly simple: assuming that the underlying interaction between constituent particles is known, which crystal structures are stable. In this talk, I will describe a Monte Carlo simulation method [1] combined with a triangular tesselation method [2] to describe the surface of arbitrarily shaped particles that can be employed to predict close-packed crystal structures in colloidal hard-particle systems. I will show that particle shape alone can give rise to a wide variety of structures with unusual properties [3-7], e.g., photonic band gap structures or highly diffusive crystals, but combining the choice of particle shape with external fields, like confinement [4], can enlarge the number of possible structures even more.

Key words: colloids, self-assembly, crystal structures, hard particles, entropy

References [1] L. Filion, M. Marechal, B. van Oorschot, D. Pelt, F. Smallenburg, and M. Dijkstra, Physical Review Letters 103, 188302 (2009). [2] J. de Graaf, R. van Roij and M. Dijkstra, Physical Review Letters 107, 155501 (2011). [3] A. P. Gantapara, J. de Graaf, R. van Roij, and M. Dijkstra, Physical Review Letters 111, 015501 (2013) [4] F. Smallenburg, L. Filion, M. Marechal, and M. Dijkstra, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109, 17886 (2012). [5] K. Miszta, J. de Graaf, G. Bertoni, D. Dorfs, R. Brescia, S. Marras, L. Ceseracciu, R. Cingolani, R. van Roij, M. Dijkstra and L. Manna, Nature Materials 10, 872-876 (2011) [6] L. Filion, M. Hermes, R. Ni, E. C. M. Vermolen, A. Kuijk, C. G. Christova, J. C. P. Stiefelhagen, T. Vissers, A. van Blaaderen, and M. Dijkstra, Physical Review Letters 107, 168302 (2011). [7] S. Dussi and M. Dijkstra, Nature Communications 7, 11175 (2016). [8] B. de Nijs, S. Dussi, F. Smallenburg, J.D. Meeldijk, D.J. Groenendijk, L. Filion, A. Imhof, A. van Blaaderen, and M. Dijkstra, Nature Materials 14, 56-60 (2015).

This talk is part of the Theory - Chemistry Research Interest Group series.

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