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Title: Programming hierarchical self-assembly of anisotropic colloids
Author: Morphew, Daniel
ISNI:       0000 0004 7426 1123
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2018
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Colloidal self-assembly promises to be an elegant and efficient route to the bottom-up fabrication of 3-dimensional structures. Programming hierarchical schemes for colloid self-assembly has the potential to widen structural diversity and mimic biological complexity. However, it remains a grand challenge to bridge hierarchies of multiple length- and time-scales associated with the structure and dynamics along complex self-assembly pathways. This thesis employs a variety of computational techniques to address this challenge in silico, programming colloidal self-assembly for structural hierarchy in close connection with contemporary experimental research. In a series of studies, the self-assembly of designer charge-stabilised colloidal magnetic particles into a number of supracolloidal polyhedra for size-selected clusters is demonstrated. The design space supports self-assembled polyhedra of very different morphologies, namely tubular and hollow spheroidal structures, for which the dominant pathways for self-assembly are elucidated, revealing two distinct mechanisms. Here, it is found that for a staged assembly pathway the structure, which derives the strongest energetic stability from the first stage and the weakest from the second stage, is most kinetically accessible. Stemming from these findings, a generic design principle exploiting a hierarchy of interaction strengths is introduced. This design principle is subsequently employed to demonstrate the hierarchical self-assembly of triblock patchy colloidal particles into a variety of colloidal crystals. Furthermore, this design framework exhibits a novel bottom-up route to the fabrication of cubic diamond colloidal crystals, which until recently, have remained elusive.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) ; University of Birmingham
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QD Chemistry