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Issue 6, 2020
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Self-assembly of Janus Au:Fe3O4 branched nanoparticles. From organized clusters to stimuli-responsive nanogel suprastructures

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Abstract

Janus nanoparticles offer enormous possibilities through a binary selective functionalization and dual properties. Their self-assembly has attracted strong interest due to their potential as building blocks to obtain molecular colloids, supracrystals and well-organized nanostructures that can lead to new functionalities. However, this self-assembly has been focused on relatively simple symmetrical morphologies, while for complex nanostructures this process has been unexplored. Here, we study the assembly of plasmonic-magnetic Janus nanoparticles with a branched (nanostar) – sphere morphology. The branched morphology enhances their plasmonic properties in the near-infrared region and therefore their applicability, but at the same time constrains their self-assembly capabilities to obtain more organized or functional suprastructures. We describe the self-assembly of these nanoparticles after amphiphilic functionalization. The role of the nanoparticle branching, as well as the size of the polymer-coating, is explored. We show how the use of large molecular weight stabilizing polymers can overcome the anisotropy of the nanoparticles producing a change in the morphology from small clusters to larger quasi-cylindrical nanostructures. Finally, the Janus nanoparticles are functionalized with a thermo-responsive elastin-like recombinamer. These nanoparticles undergo reversible self-assembly in the presence of free polymer giving rise to nanoparticle-stabilized nanogel-like structures with controlled size, providing the possibility to expand their applicability to multi-stimuli controlled self-assembly.

Graphical abstract: Self-assembly of Janus Au:Fe3O4 branched nanoparticles. From organized clusters to stimuli-responsive nanogel suprastructures

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
07 Feb 2020
Accepted
21 Apr 2020
First published
22 Apr 2020

This article is Open Access

Nanoscale Adv., 2020,2, 2525-2530
Article type
Paper

Self-assembly of Janus Au:Fe3O4 branched nanoparticles. From organized clusters to stimuli-responsive nanogel suprastructures

J. Reguera, T. Flora, N. Winckelmans, J. C. Rodríguez-Cabello and S. Bals, Nanoscale Adv., 2020, 2, 2525
DOI: 10.1039/D0NA00102C

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