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Issue 9, 2015
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Self-assembled nanoparticle micro-shells templated by liquid crystal sorting

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Abstract

A current goal in nanotechnology focuses on the assembly of different nanoparticle types into 3D organized structures. In this paper we report the use of a liquid crystal host phase in a new process for the generation of micron-scale vesicle-like nanoparticle shells stabilized by ligand–ligand interactions. The constructs formed consist of a robust, thin spherical layer, composed of closely packed quantum dots (QDs) and stabilized by local crystallization of the mesogenic ligands. Ligand structure can be tuned to vary QD packing within the shell and made UV cross-linkable to allow for intact shell extraction into toluene. The assembly method we describe could be extended to other nanoparticle types (metallic, magnetic etc.), where hollow shell formation is controlled by thermally sorting mesogen-functionalized nanoparticles in a liquid crystalline host material at the isotropic to nematic transition. This process represents a versatile method for making non-planar 3D nano-assemblies.

Graphical abstract: Self-assembled nanoparticle micro-shells templated by liquid crystal sorting

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
23 Oct 2014
Accepted
11 Dec 2014
First published
20 Jan 2015

Soft Matter, 2015,11, 1701-1707
Article type
Paper
Author version available

Self-assembled nanoparticle micro-shells templated by liquid crystal sorting

A. L. Rodarte, B. H. Cao, H. Panesar, R. J. Pandolfi, M. Quint, L. Edwards, S. Ghosh, J. E. Hein and L. S. Hirst, Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 1701
DOI: 10.1039/C4SM02326A

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