Ultracentrifugation techniques for the ordering of nanoparticles

Xufeng Xu, Helmut Cölfen (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


A centrifugal field can provide an external force for the ordering of nanoparticles. Espe-cially with the knowledge from in-situ characterization by analytical (ultra)centrifugation, nanopar-ticle ordering can be rationally realized in preparative (ultra)centrifugation. This review summa-rizes the work back to the 1990s, where intuitive use of centrifugation was achieved for the fabrication of colloidal crystals to the very recent work where analytical (ultra)centrifugation is employed to tailor-make concentration gradients for advanced materials. This review is divided into three main parts. In the introduction part, the history of ordering microbeads in gravity is discussed and with the size of particles reduced to nanometers, a centrifugal field is necessary. In the next part, the research on the ordering of nanoparticles in analytical and preparative centrifugation in recent dec-ades is described. In the last part, the applications of the functional materials, fabricated from cen-trifugation-induced nanoparticle superstructures are briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number333
Number of pages26
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Centrifugation
  • Concentration gradient
  • Functional material
  • Nanoparticle
  • Non-equilibrium process
  • Sedimentation
  • Superstructure


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