Research Group Peter Schall

Institute of Physics, University of Amsterdam

Colloidal Assembly

We use critical Casimir forces, together with new colloidal building blocks to assemble complex colloidal phases – from colloidal liquids and crystals to colloidal molecules. We link patchy particles into complex superstructures by precise control of their interactions. The direct imaging of the assembly process gives insight into the statistical physics of structure formation that also underlies the formation of molecular structures. These micron and nanoscale structures exhibit unexpected optical, mechanical and chemical properties of interest for future materials.

Colloidal Graphene
Simple colloids assemble into close-packed crystal structures, while open crystal structures are needed for photonic and phononic bandgap materials. Here, we assemble patchy particles into the open honeycomb lattice, producing the analogue of atomic graphene. Read more …

Colloidal Molecules
We assemble patchy colloidal particles into analogues of molecules. Divalent and tetravalent particles form colloidal polymers and colloidal carbon compounds with dynamics surprisingly similar to their atomic counterparts Read more …

Liquid Nucleation
We nucleate colloidal liquids from the colloidal gas phase and follow the nucleation process at the particle scale. These observations allow direct measurement of the curvature-dependant surface tension of these small, nuclei. See PRL article (2018)

Colloidal Phase transitions
We tailor the strength and range of colloidal interactions by critical Casimir forces to assemble colloidal particles into equilibrium phases: gas -liquid – crystals, and investigate phase transitions. Read more …

Colloidal Polymer assembly on surfaces
We investigate the growth, alignment and arrest of colloidal polymers on a surface. The polymers are assembled from patchy particles with two opposing patches, whose attraction is tuned by critical Casimir forces. Read more ..

© 2022 Research Group Peter Schall

Thema von Anders Norén