Controlling disorder in self-assembled colloidal monolayers via evaporative processes
Monolayers of assembled nano-objects with a controlled degree of disorder hold interest in many optical applications, including photovoltaics, light emission, sensing, and structural coloration. Controlled disorder can be achieved through either top-down or bottom-up approaches, but the latter is more suited to large-scale, low-cost fabrication. Disordered colloidal monolayers can be assembled through evaporatively driven convective assembly, a bottom-up process with a wide range of parameters impacting particle placement. Motivated by the photonic applications of such monolayers, in this review we discuss the quantification of monolayer disorder, and the assembly methods that have been used to produce them. We review the impact of particle and solvent properties, as well as the use of substrate patterning, to create the desired spatial distributions of particles.