Self-assembly of lobed particles into amorphous and crystalline porous structures.


Department of Chemical Engineering, University of New Hampshire, 33 Academic Way, Durham, NH 03824, USA. [Email]


We report simulation studies on the self-assembly of hard-lobed particles (patchy particles where patches appear as lobes around a seed) of different shapes and show that various types of self-assembled morphologies can be achieved by tuning inter-lobe interactions. On self-assembly, the linear building blocks having two lobes around the seed formed rings, the trigonal planar building blocks formed cylindrical hollow tubes and two-dimensional sheets, and the square planar building blocks formed spherical clathrates. The tetrahedral, trigonal bipyramidal, and the octahedral-shaped particles formed compact porous crystalline structures which are constituted by either hexagonal close packed or face centered cubic lattices. The pore size distributions revealed that linear, trigonal planar, and square planar building blocks create highly porous self-assembled structures. Our results suggest that these self-assembled morphologies will potentially find applications in tissue engineering, host-guest chemistry, adsorption, and catalysis.

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