Programming hierarchical self-assembly of colloids: matching stability and accessibility

Daniel Morphew, Dwaipayan Chakrabarti*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
194 Downloads (Pure)


Encoding hierarchical self-assembly in colloidal building blocks is a promising bottom-up route to high-level structural complexity often observed in biological materials. However, harnessing this promise faces the grand challenge of bridging hierarchies of multiple length- and time-scales, associated with structure and dynamics respectively along the self- assembly pathway. Here we report on a case study, which examines the kinetic accessibility of a series of hollow spherical structures with a two-level structural hierarchy self-assembled from charge-stabilized colloidal magnetic particles. By means of a variety of computational methods, we find that for a staged assembly pathway, the structure, which derives the strongest energetic stability from the first stage of assembly and the weakest from the second stage, is most kinetically accessible. Such a striking correspondence between energetics and kinetics for optimal design principles should have general implications for programming hierarchical self-assembly pathways for nano- and micro-particles, while matching stability and accessibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13875-13882
Number of pages8
Issue number29
Early online date11 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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