449692 Self-Assembly of Directionally Interacting Spheres and Rods

Wednesday, November 16, 2016: 1:18 PM
Golden Gate 5 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Nathan A. Mahynski, Chemical Sciences Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, Wenyan Liu, Center for Functional Nanomaterials, Brookhaven National Laboratories, Upton, NY 11973, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Oleg Gang, Center for Functional Nanomaterials, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY, Athanassios Z. Panagiotopoulos, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ and Sanat Kumar, Department of Chemical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY

There has been considerable recent interest in understanding the self-assembly of mixtures of differently shaped objects. Non-directional entropic and energetic effects are known in the specific case of rods mixed with spheres to exclusively yield layered phases. [1,2] However, here we use computer simulations and theory to demonstrate that the introduction of directional energetic attractions, between pairs of rod ends and between rod ends and isotropically interacting spherical nanoparticles (NPs), can be used to intelligently stabilize specific crystal morphologies through the interplay of energetic and entropic effects. To illustrate, we rationally design rods and spheres to obtain either face-centered cubic (FCC) or hexagonal close-packed (HCP) NP crystals at will. By tuning the relative size of the rods and spheres we control the interaction between non-nearest neighbor NPs in these crystals allowing us to control their relative stability with respect to each other, and with respect to an amorphous phase. Experiments with mixtures of gold spheres isotropically decorated with single stranded DNA (ssDNA) and rods with complementary ssDNA ends, unequivocally verify this behavior. We therefore propose that directionally specific attractions, which reflect only some features of the building block anisotropies, offer an entrée into completely different classes of self-assembly behavior.


[1] Adams, Dogic, Keller, and Fraden, Nature 393, 349-352 (1998).
[2] Dogic, Frenkel, and Fraden, Phys. Rev. E. 62, 3925-3933 (2000).

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