Generic, phenomenological, on-the-fly renormalized repulsion model for self-limited organization of terminal supraparticle assemblies

Trung Dac Nguyen, Benjamin A. Schultz, Nicholas A. Kotov, Sharon C. Glotzer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Self-limited, or terminal, supraparticles have long received great interest because of their abundance in biological systems (DNA bundles and virus capsids) and their potential use in a host of applications ranging from photonics and catalysis to encapsulation for drug delivery. Moreover, soft, uniform colloidal aggregates are a promising candidate for quasicrystal and other hierarchical assemblies. In this work, we present a generic coarse-grained model that captures the formation of self-limited assemblies observed in various soft-matter systems including nanoparticles, colloids, and polyelectrolytes. Using molecular dynamics simulations, we demonstrate that the assembly process is self-limited when the repulsion between the particles is renormalized to balance their attraction during aggregation. The uniform finite-sized aggregates are further shown to be thermodynamically stable and tunable with a single dimensionless parameter. We find large aggregates self-organize internally into a core-shell morphology and exhibit anomalous uniformity when the constituent nanoparticles have a polydisperse size distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E3161-E3168
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume112
Issue number25
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 23 2015

Keywords

  • Self-assembly
  • Self-limited aggregation
  • Terminal assemblies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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