Shape-Tunable Colloids from Structured Liquid Droplet Templates
Zhang Luo, Bing Liu*
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 4940.
Shaping colloidal building units is of paramount importance for their self-assembly into complex objects. Continuous tuning of colloidal shapes is highly desired for understanding self-assembly, but it still remains a challenge. Herein, we report anew template strategy for the shape-tunable synthesis of anisotropic colloids with shapes that can be continuously tuned from discs (oblate spheroids) to spheres to theta shapes to dumbbells. This was realized by creating structured shape-tunable droplets from patchy colloidal discs and using these droplets as templates. In particular, we found that a controlled dumbbell-to-eyeball droplet transformation can be used for the synthesis of eyeball-shaped colloids. We also demonstrated the droplet transformation pathway sand applied the method to the synthesis of colloidal molecules. These colloids provide possibilities for exploring their ordered packing structures, and the method based on the use of structured droplets can be adapted for the synthesis of other functional colloidal particles.