Engineering shape: The novel geometries of colloidal self-assembly

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This article investigates the role of shape in colloidal self-assembly and argues for the importance of a tight synergy between particle design and assembly strategies. To this end, we review synthetic methodologies developed to impart colloidal building blocks with anisotropic shapes and self-assembly mechanisms that exploit geometry to direct and control the particles' organization. This paper, which deliberately focuses on micron-scale colloids, is divided into two main sections. Firstly, we discuss the impact of shape on particles' interactions and how this has been exploited to develop heuristic rules for the creation of self-assembling architectures. Secondly, we examine state-of-the-art advances in colloidal synthesis with a clear emphasis on design rules and bulk methods, which are aimed at producing shape-anisotropic particles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8096-8106
Number of pages11
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number34
StatePublished - Sep 14 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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