In this ERC Advanced Grant Project we follow nature’s strategies and make a concerted experimental and theoretical effort to study, understand and control self-assembly for a new generation of responsive colloidal building blocks. We investigate the influence of anisotropy in shape and interactions on phase behavior and self-assembly in colloidal suspensions and mixtures. Using responsive particles we implement colloidal lock-and-key mechanisms and then assemble a library of "colloidal molecules" with well-defined and externally tunable binding sites using microfluidics-based and externally controlled fabrication and sorting principles. We use them to explore the equilibrium phase behavior of particle systems interacting through a finite number of binding sites, and subject recently developed theoretical models and computer simulations to a critical test. In parallel, we will exploit them and investigate colloid self-assembly into well-defined nanostructures. We combine molecule-like colloidal building blocks that possess directional interactions and externally triggerable specific recognition sites with directed self-assembly where external fields not only facilitate assembly, but also allow fabricating novel structures.
People: Maxime Bergman, Jérôme J. Crassous, Thiago Ito, Adriana Mihut, Linda Månsson, Antara Pal, Feifei Peng, Per Linse, Joakim Stenhammar, Jonas Tegenfeld (Physics, Lund University), Emanuela Zaccarelly (University La Sapienza Rome, Italy), Peter Schurtenberger.
Contact person: Peter Schurtenberger