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Directed Assembly of Colloidal Films, Granules, and 3D Periodic Structures

J.A. Lewis
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, US

Keywords:
directed assembly, colloidal films, granules, 3D periodic structures

Abstract:
We are developing novel assembly routes for creating patterned colloidal films, granules, and 3D architectures.  These approaches rely on collectively engineering the phase transitions, structure, rheology and drying behavior of dense suspensions of colloidal, nanoparticle, and polyelectrolyte building blocks.  Several examples from our recent research activities will be highlighted.  In the first example, patterned films comprised of microsphere-nanoparticle mixtures are fabricated through a guided evaporative assembly route.  Lateral segregation of microsphere and nanoparticle species is achieved by carefully tuning their phase behavior and drying conditions.  In the second example, the assembly of colloidal granules with controlled composition and shape anisotropy is directed using a microfluidic platform.  Finally, new inks have been created for direct-write assembly of 3D micro-periodic structures.   By integrating colloidal, microfluidic, and direct-write assembly routes, we aim to create 2D and 3D colloidal architectures that may find potential application as novel membranes, sensors, and photonic materials. 

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