Non-spherical colloidal building blocks introduce new design principles for self-assembly, making it possible to realize optical structures that could not be assembled previously. With this added complexity, the phase space expands enormously so that computer simulation becomes a valuable tool to design and assemble structures with useful optical properties. We recently demonstrated that tetrahedral clusters and spheres, interacting through a DNA-mediated short-range attractive interaction, self-assemble into a superlattice of interpenetrating diamond and pyrochlore sublattices, but only if the clusters consist of partially overlapping spheres. Here we show how the domain of crystallization can be extended by implementing a longer range potential and consider how the resultant structures affect the photonic band gaps of the underlying pyrochlore sublattice. We show that with the proper design, using clusters of overlapping spheres lead to larger photonic band gaps that open up at lower optical contrast.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics