Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids

Template-assisted assembly of the functionalized cubic and spherical microparticles.

PMID 22924760


The patterned template-assisted assembly of the cubic microparticles driven by the competing capillary, Columbic, and van der Waals forces had been studied in comparison with the traditional spherical colloidal microparticles. We observed that the spherical and cubic microparticles assembled with different probability in the channels of the hydrophobic-hydrophilic patterned substrates due to differences in a balance of adhesive and capillary forces. In contrast to highly selective assembly of spherical microparticles, selective deposition of cubic microcrystals with channels is impeded by strong adhesive forces facilitated by large specific interfacial areas between cube facets and substrate. The modification of the patterned substrate by functionalized coatings with oppositely charged topmost layers significantly increases the probability (to 86%) of the cubic microparticles to assemble into chemically modified channels. The introduction of ultrathin LbL shells on cubic microparticles and functionalization of patterned substrates are critical for the directed colloidal assembly of anisotropic microparticles into ordered aggregates.