Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Amphiphile-Induced Anisotropic Colloidal Self-Assembly

Rey, Marcel; Yu, Taotao; Bley, Karina; Landfester, Katharina; Buzza, D. Martin A.; Vogel, Nicolas


Marcel Rey

Taotao Yu

Karina Bley

Katharina Landfester

Nicolas Vogel


Spherical colloidal particles typically self-assemble into hexagonal lattices when adsorbed at liquid interfaces. More complex assembly structures, including particle chains and phases with square symmetry, were theoretically predicted almost two decades ago for spherical particles interacting via a soft repulsive shoulder. Here, we demonstrate that such complex assembly phases can be experimentally realized with spherical colloidal particles assembled at the air/water interface in the presence of molecular amphiphiles. We investigate the interfacial behavior of colloidal particles in the presence of different amphiphiles on a Langmuir trough. We transfer the structures formed at the interface onto a solid substrate while continuously compressing, which enables us to correlate the prevailing assembly phase as a function of the available interfacial area. We observe that block copolymers with similarities to the chemical nature of the colloidal particles, as well as the surface-active protein bovine serum albumin, direct the colloidal particles into complex assembly phases, including chains and square arrangements. The observed structures are reproduced by minimum energy calculations of hard core–soft shoulder particles with experimentally realistic interaction parameters. From the agreement between experiments and theory, we hypothesize that the presence of the amphiphiles manipulates the interaction potential of the colloidal particles. The assembly of spherical colloidal particles into complex assembly phases on solid substrates opens new possibilities for surface patterning by enriching the library of possible structures available for colloidal lithography.


Rey, M., Yu, T., Bley, K., Landfester, K., Buzza, D. M. A., & Vogel, N. (2018). Amphiphile-Induced Anisotropic Colloidal Self-Assembly. Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids, 34(34), 9990-10000.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 24, 2018
Online Publication Date Jul 24, 2018
Publication Date Aug 28, 2018
Deposit Date Aug 31, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jul 25, 2019
Journal Langmuir
Print ISSN 0743-7463
Electronic ISSN 1520-5827
Publisher American Chemical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 34
Issue 34
Pages 9990-10000
Keywords Spectroscopy; Electrochemistry; General Materials Science; Surfaces and Interfaces; Condensed Matter Physics
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations