Multivalent patchy colloids for quantitative 3D self-assembly studies

Marlous Kamp (Corresponding author), Bart de Nijs, Marjolein N. van der Linden, Isja de Feijter, Merel J. Lefferts, Antonio Aloi, Jack Griffiths, Jeremy J. Baumberg, Ilja K. Voets, Alfons van Blaaderen (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


We report methods to synthesize sub-micron- and micron-sized patchy silica particles with fluorescently labeled hemispherical titania protrusions, as well as routes to efficiently characterize these particles and self-assemble these particles into non-close-packed structures. The synthesis methods expand upon earlier work in the literature, in which silica particles packed in a colloidal crystal were surface-patterned with a silane coupling agent. Here, hemispherical amorphous titania protrusions were successfully labeled with fluorescent dyes, allowing for imaging by confocal microscopy and super-resolution techniques. Confocal microscopy was exploited to experimentally determine the numbers of protrusions per particle over large numbers of particles for good statistical significance, and these distributions were compared to simulations predicting the number of patches as a function of core particle polydispersity and maximum separation between the particle surfaces. We self-assembled these patchy particles into open percolating gel networks by exploiting solvophobic attractions between the protrusions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2403-2418
Number of pages16
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2020


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