Spontaneous organization of supracolloids into three-dimensional structured materials

Mohammad Amin Moradi, E. Deniz Eren, Massimiliano Chiappini, Sebastian Rzadkiewicz, Maurits Goudzwaard, Mark M.J. van Rijt, Arthur D.A. Keizer, Alexander F. Routh, Marjolein Dijkstra, Gijsbertus de With, Nico Sommerdijk (Corresponding author), Heiner Friedrich (Corresponding author), Joseph P. Patterson (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Periodic nano- or microscale structures are used to control light, energy and mass transportation. Colloidal organization is the most versatile method used to control nano- and microscale order, and employs either the enthalpy-driven self-assembly of particles at a low concentration or the entropy-driven packing of particles at a high concentration. Nonetheless, it cannot yet provide the spontaneous three-dimensional organization of multicomponent particles at a high concentration. Here we combined these two concepts into a single strategy to achieve hierarchical multicomponent materials. We tuned the electrostatic attraction between polymer and silica nanoparticles to create dynamic supracolloids whose components, on drying, reorganize by entropy into three-dimensional structured materials. Cryogenic electron tomography reveals the kinetic pathways, whereas Monte Carlo simulations combined with a kinetic model provide design rules to form the supracolloids and control the kinetic pathways. This approach may be useful to fabricate hierarchical hybrid materials for distinct technological applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-547
Number of pages7
JournalNature Materials
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

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