Patchy Colloidal Clusters with Broken Symmetry

You Jin Kim, Jae Hyun Kim, In Seong Jo, David J. Pine, Stefano Sacanna, Gi Ra Yi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colloidal clusters are prepared by assembling positively charged cross-linked polystyrene (PS) particles onto negatively charged liquid cores of swollen polymer particles. PS particles at the interface of the liquid core are closely packed around the core due to interfacial wetting. Then, by evaporating solvent in the liquid cores, polymers in the cores are solidified and the clusters are cemented. As the swelling ratio of PS cores increases, cores at the center of colloidal clusters are exposed, forming patchy colloidal clusters. Finally, by density gradient centrifugation, high-purity symmetric colloidal clusters are obtained. When silica-PS core-shell particles are swollen and serve as the liquid cores, hybrid colloidal clusters are obtained in which each silica nanoparticle is relocated to the liquid core interface during the swelling-deswelling process breaking symmetry in colloidal clusters as the silica nanoparticle in the core is comparable in size with the PS particle in the shell. The configuration of colloidal clusters is determined once the number of particles around the liquid core is given, which depends on the size ratio of the liquid core and shell particle. Since hybrid clusters are heavier than PS particles, they can be purified using centrifugation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13175-13183
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number33
StatePublished - Aug 25 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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