Colloidal open crystals are attractive materials, especially for their photonic applications. Self-assembly appeals as a bottom-up route for structure fabrication, but self-assembly of colloidal open crystals has proven to be elusive for their mechanical instability due to being low-coordinated. For such a bottom-up route to yield a desired colloidal open crystal, the target structure is required to be thermodynamically favored for designer building blocks and also kinetically accessible via self- assembly pathways in preference to metastable structures. Additionally, the selection of a particular polymorph poses a challenge for certain much sought-after colloidal open crystals for their applications as photonic crystals. Here, we devise hierarchical self-assembly pathways, which, starting from designer triblock patchy particles, yield in a cascade of well-separated associations first tetrahedral clusters and then tetrastack crystals. The designed pathways avoid trapping into an amorphous phase. Our analysis reveals how such a two-stage self-assembly pathway via tetrahedral clusters promotes crystallization by suppressing five- and seven-membered rings that hinder the emergence of the ordered structure. We also find that slow annealing promotes a bias toward the cubic polymorph relative to the hexagonal counterpart. Finally, we calculate the photonic band structures, showing that the cubic polymorph exhibits a complete photonic band gap for the dielectric filling fraction directly realizable from the designer triblock patchy particles. Unexpectedly, we find that the hexagonal polymorph also supports a complete photonic band gap, albeit only for an increased filling fraction, which can be realized via postassembly processing.

Leveraging Hierarchical Self-Assembly Pathways for Realizing Colloidal Photonic Crystals / Rao, Abhishek B.; Shaw, James; Neophytou, Andreas; Morphew, Daniel; Sciortino, Francesco; Johnston, Roy L.; Chakrabarti, Dwaipayan. - In: ACS NANO. - ISSN 1936-0851. - 15:5(2020), pp. 5348-5359. [10.1021/acsnano.9b07849]

Leveraging Hierarchical Self-Assembly Pathways for Realizing Colloidal Photonic Crystals

Francesco Sciortino;
2020

Abstract

Colloidal open crystals are attractive materials, especially for their photonic applications. Self-assembly appeals as a bottom-up route for structure fabrication, but self-assembly of colloidal open crystals has proven to be elusive for their mechanical instability due to being low-coordinated. For such a bottom-up route to yield a desired colloidal open crystal, the target structure is required to be thermodynamically favored for designer building blocks and also kinetically accessible via self- assembly pathways in preference to metastable structures. Additionally, the selection of a particular polymorph poses a challenge for certain much sought-after colloidal open crystals for their applications as photonic crystals. Here, we devise hierarchical self-assembly pathways, which, starting from designer triblock patchy particles, yield in a cascade of well-separated associations first tetrahedral clusters and then tetrastack crystals. The designed pathways avoid trapping into an amorphous phase. Our analysis reveals how such a two-stage self-assembly pathway via tetrahedral clusters promotes crystallization by suppressing five- and seven-membered rings that hinder the emergence of the ordered structure. We also find that slow annealing promotes a bias toward the cubic polymorph relative to the hexagonal counterpart. Finally, we calculate the photonic band structures, showing that the cubic polymorph exhibits a complete photonic band gap for the dielectric filling fraction directly realizable from the designer triblock patchy particles. Unexpectedly, we find that the hexagonal polymorph also supports a complete photonic band gap, albeit only for an increased filling fraction, which can be realized via postassembly processing.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1556050
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