Condensed Matter Physics, 2014, vol. 17, No. 3, p. 33007:1-6

Title: Directional depletion interactions in shaped particles
  A. Scala (ISC-CNR Physics Department, University "La Sapienza", Piazzale Moro 5, 00185 Roma, Italy) ,
  P.G. De Sanctis Lucentini (Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas, 65 Leninsky prospekt, Moscow, Russia)

Entropic forces in colloidal suspensions and in polymer-colloid systems are of long-standing and continuing interest. Experiments show how entropic forces can be used to control the self-assembly of colloidal particles. Significant advances in colloidal synthesis made in the past two decades have enabled the preparation of high quality nano-particles with well-controlled sizes, shapes, and compositions, indicating that such particles can be utilized as "artificial atoms" to build new materials. To elucidate the effects of the shape of particles upon the magnitude of entropic interaction, we analyse the entropic interactions of two cut-spheres. We show that the solvent induces a strong directional depletion attraction among flat faces of the cut-spheres. Such an effect highlights the possibility of using the shape of particles to control directionality and strength of interaction.

Key words: entropic interactions, self-assembly, Monte Carlo
PACS: 05.20.Jj, 05.10.Ln, 47.57.-s, 65.80.-g, 82.70.Dd

Full text [pdf] << List of papers