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Programming hierarchical self-assembly of colloids: matching stability and accessibility

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Abstract

Encoding hierarchical self-assembly in colloidal building blocks is a promising bottom-up route to high-level structural complexity often observed in biological materials. However, harnessing this promise faces the grand challenge of bridging hierarchies of multiple length- and time-scales, associated with structure and dynamics respectively along the self-assembly pathway. Here we report on a case study, which examines the kinetic accessibility of a series of hollow spherical structures with a two-level structural hierarchy self-assembled from charge-stabilized colloidal magnetic particles. By means of a variety of computational methods, we find that for a staged assembly pathway, the structure, which derives the strongest energetic stability from the first stage of assembly and the weakest from the second stage, is most kinetically accessible. Such a striking correspondence between energetics and kinetics for optimal design principles should have general implications for programming hierarchical self-assembly pathways for nano- and micro-particles, while matching stability and accessibility.

Graphical abstract: Programming hierarchical self-assembly of colloids: matching stability and accessibility

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Publication details

The article was received on 12 Dec 2017, accepted on 24 Jun 2018 and first published on 11 Jul 2018


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR09258J
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018, Advance Article
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Programming hierarchical self-assembly of colloids: matching stability and accessibility

    D. Morphew and D. Chakrabarti, Nanoscale, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7NR09258J

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