Long-Ranged Oppositely Charged Interactions for Designing New Types of Colloidal Clusters
Open in viewer
Demirörs, Ahmet F.
Stiefelhagen, Johan C.P.
Van Blaaderen, Alfons
- Journal Article
Open in viewer
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported
Getting control over the valency of colloids is not trivial and has been a long-desired goal for the colloidal domain. Typically, tuning the preferred number of neighbors for colloidal particles requires directional bonding, as in the case of patchy particles, which is difficult to realize experimentally. Here, we demonstrate a general method for creating the colloidal analogs of molecules and other new regular colloidal clusters without using patchiness or complex bonding schemes (e.g., DNA coating) by using a combination of long-ranged attractive and repulsive interactions between oppositely charged particles that also enable regular clusters of particles not all in close contact. We show that, due to the interplay between their attractions and repulsions, oppositely charged particles dispersed in an intermediate dielectric constant (4<ϵ<10) provide a viable approach for the formation of binary colloidal clusters. Tuning the size ratio and interactions of the particles enables control of the type and shape of the resulting regular colloidal clusters. Finally, we present an example of clusters made up of negatively charged large and positively charged small satellite particles, for which the electrostatic properties and interactions can be changed with an electric field. It appears that for sufficiently strong fields the satellite particles can move over the surface of the host particles and polarize the clusters. For even stronger fields, the satellite particles can be completely pulled off, reversing the net charge on the cluster. With computer simulations, we investigate how charged particles distribute on an oppositely charged sphere to minimize their energy and compare the results with the solutions to the well-known Thomson problem. We also use the simulations to explore the dependence of such clusters on Debye screening length κ−1 and the ratio of charges on the particles, showing good agreement with experimental observations Show more
Journal / seriesPhysical Review X
Pages / Article No.
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics
MoreShow all metadata