Shape-Shifting Patchy Particles

Xiaolong Zheng, Mingzhu Liu, Mingxin He, David J. Pine, Marcus Weck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A facile method to synthesize shape-shifting patchy particles on the colloidal scale is described. The design is based on the solvent-induced shifting of the patch shape between concave and convex features. The initial concave patchy particles were synthesized in a water suspension by a swelling-induced buckling process. Upon exposure to different solvents, the patches were tuned reversibly to be either concave or convex. These particles can be assembled into chained, branched, zigzag, and cyclic colloidal superstructures in a highly site-specific manner by surface–liquid capillary bridging. The biphasic nature of the particles also enables site-selective surface functionalization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5507-5511
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 8 2017


  • patchy particles
  • self-assembly
  • shape-shifting particles
  • site-specific functionalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry


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