Moiré and honeycomb lattices through self-assembly of hard-core/soft-shell microgels: experiment and simulation†
Control over microstructure and interparticle spacing in substrate-supported colloidal arrangements is a key challenge in colloidal self-assembly. We demonstrate here the preparation of Moiré and honeycomb monolayer lattices from core/shell microgels with rigid inorganic cores and soft, deformable hydrogel shells. These structures were realized by the sequential double deposition of freely floating monolayers from the air/water interface onto the same, centimetre-scale substrate. Due to the soft and deformable character of the hydrogel shells, the second applied monolayer fully settles into the same plane as the first monolayer. The resulting structural motif is determined by the drying conditions applied to the second deposition step. We support our experimental findings by Brownian dynamics simulations and provide insights into the structure formation process.