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Issue 25, 2012
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Interfacial polymer phase segregation and self-assembly of square colloidal crystals

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Abstract

Polystyrene colloids exhibit unique bimodal dynamics at the air–water interface in the presence of PEG polymers. We attribute this to agglomeration of the polymer into polymer-rich and polymer-sparse domains at the interface. Colloids adsorbed to polymer-depleted regions retain mobility and self-assemble into two-dimensional crystals with square symmetry, which is ascribed to an undulated contact line on the particles and the droplet's negative Gaussian curvature. To our knowledge, this is the first example of thermodynamically favoured two-dimensional square crystals formed by means of interfacial colloid assembly.

Graphical abstract: Interfacial polymer phase segregation and self-assembly of square colloidal crystals

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Publication details

The article was received on 11 Aug 2011, accepted on 08 May 2012 and first published on 23 May 2012


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C2SM25808K
Citation: Soft Matter, 2012,8, 6684-6688
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    Interfacial polymer phase segregation and self-assembly of square colloidal crystals

    M. M. Shindel, S. Wang and A. Mohraz, Soft Matter, 2012, 8, 6684
    DOI: 10.1039/C2SM25808K

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