Direct assembly of magnetic Janus particles at a droplet interface

Qingguang Xie, Gary B. Davies, Jens Harting

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    26 Citations (Scopus)
    77 Downloads (Pure)


    Self-assembly of nanoparticles at fluid-fluid interfaces is a promising route to fabricate functional materials from the bottom-up. However, directing and controlling particles into highly tunable and predictable structures, while essential, is a challenge. We present a liquid interface assisted approach to fabricate nanoparticle structures with tunable properties. To demonstrate its feasibility, we study magnetic Janus particles adsorbed at the interface of a spherical droplet placed on a substrate. With an external magnetic field turned on, a single particle moves to the location where its position vector relative to the droplet center is parallel to the direction of the applied field. Multiple magnetic Janus particles arrange into reconfigurable hexagonal lattice structures and can be directed to assemble at desirable locations on the droplet interface by simply varying the magnetic field direction. We develop an interface energy model to explain our observations, finding excellent agreement. Finally, we demonstrate that the external magnetic field allows one to tune the particle deposition pattern obtained when the droplet evaporates. Our results have implications for the fabrication of varied nanostructures on substrates for use in nanodevices, organic electronics, or advanced display, printing, and coating applications.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)11232-11239
    Number of pages8
    JournalACS Nano
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2017


    • advanced printing techniques
    • colloids at interfaces
    • direct assembly
    • Janus particles
    • tunable deposition


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