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 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 ..