We demonstrate that small charged nanocages can undergo reversible changes of shapes by modifying the ionic conditions including salt concentration, pH, and dielectric permittivity of the medium. Using numerical simulations, we analyze structures with various charge stoichiometric ratios. At zero or low charge densities, the shape of the cage is determined by its elastic properties, and the surface charge pattern is dictated by the globally fixed geometry. As the charge density per molecule increases, the shape is strongly affected by the electrostatic forces. In this regime, the shape of the nanocage is controlled by the charge distribution.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)