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Hierarchical Self Assembly of Colloids: Control and Manipulation from Nano-Granular

Hierarchical Self Assembly of Colloids: Control and Manipulation from Nano-Granular

Objective

Goal: to significantly extend our ability to manipulate the Self Assembly (SA) of colloidal nanoparticles (NPs) into complex 1D/2D/3D architectures (regular clusters, (composite)strings/rods, sheets, submicron colloidal crystals/liquid crystal phases of the NPs) over multiple length scales going from nano to that of granular matter. In the nano-regime quantum size effects cause materials properties to become strongly size dependent and thus highly tunable. Moreover, the synthesis of many NPs (metals, semiconductors, magnetic materials) is advanced enough that they can be made to crystallize into regular 3D lattices with new exciting functionality caused by collective effects. By performing SA in several independent stages, materials properties can be further tailored in new ways because of both access to different length scales and different NP combinations. In order to make systematic progress we will determine inter-NP potentials using 3D imaging. Both using subdiffractive confocal microscopy and cryogenic tomographic transmission electron microscopy. We will also use external fields (optical tweezers, electric/magnetic fields, shear) both to realize the complex architectures, but also to change particle properties dynamically. E.g., in monodisperse droplets of nematic phases of luminescent rodlike NPs an electric field can dramatically affect the scattering and emission of individual droplets. The droplets can subsequently be ordered in strings, sheets or crystals. Repeating the SA again delivers supra structures on the granular scale to tune e.g. heat or reagent flows. These projects combined will not only deliver new fundamental knowledge on SA, but the results are also expected to be directly useful for realizing applications based on the new meta-materials realized such as in displays, lighting, (optical) storage, (bio)sensing, catalysis, spintronics, photonic crystals, and the opto-electronics field in general.
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Principal Investigator

Alfons Van Blaaderen (Prof.)

Host institution

UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT

Address

Heidelberglaan 8
3584 Cs Utrecht

Netherlands

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 2 494 334

Principal Investigator

Alfons Van Blaaderen (Prof.)

Administrative Contact

Pieter Thijssen (Mr.)

Beneficiaries (1)

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UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 2 494 334

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 291667

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 June 2012

  • End date

    31 May 2017

Funded under:

FP7-IDEAS-ERC

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 494 334

  • EU contribution

    € 2 494 334

Hosted by:

UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT

Netherlands