Volume 119, Number 2, July 2017
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Section||Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties|
|Published online||19 September 2017|
Two-dimensional assemblies of soft repulsive colloids confined at fluid interfaces
Laboratory for Interfaces, Soft Matter and Assembly, Department of Materials, ETH Zurich Vladimir-Prelog-Weg 5, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland
Received: 30 June 2017
Accepted: 4 September 2017
Colloidal systems are an excellent example of a materials class for which interrogating fundamental questions leads to answers of direct applied relevance. In our group, we in particular focus on two-dimensional assemblies of micro- and nano-particles confined at the interface between two fluids, e.g., oil-water. Here, we review our work on systems interacting through soft repulsive forces of different origin, i.e., electrostatic and steric. By starting from the paradigmatic case of charged colloids at an interface, we show how they are both offering great opportunities as model systems to investigate the structural and mechanical response of materials and as versatile patterning tools for surface nanostructuring. We then move to the case of deformable particles interacting via steric contacts. We first examine microgel particles, which we also demonstrate as very promising models for structural investigations and robust elements for tunable nanolithography. We conclude by briefly discussing the case of particles comprising a hard inorganic core and a deformable polymer shell, which maintain some of the advantageous features of microgel particles, but also enable the realization of two-dimensional functional materials. This article offers our perspective on a very active field of research, where many interesting developments are expected in the near future.
PACS: 68.05.Cf – Liquid-liquid interface structure: measurements and simulations / 64.75.Yz – Self-assembly / 64.70.pv – Colloids
© EPLA, 2017
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