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Lilypad aggregation : localised self-assembly and metal sequestration at a liquid-vapour interface.

Jones, Christopher David and Lewis, Aled R. and Jones, Daniel Raymond and Ottley, Chris and Liu, Kaiqiang and Steed, Jonathan W. (2020) 'Lilypad aggregation : localised self-assembly and metal sequestration at a liquid-vapour interface.', Chemical science., 11 (28). pp. 7501-7510.

Abstract

Spatially resolved soft materials, such as vesicles and microgels, have shown promise as selective adsorbents and microscale reaction vessels. However, spatiotemporal control of aggregation can be difficult to achieve. In this study, nickel(II) chloride and a dipyridyl oligo(urea) ligand were combined in a vapour-diffusion setup to produce a localised spheroidal aggregate at the liquid–vapour interface. This aggregate forms via the self-assembly and fusion of monodisperse colloids and grows until its weight is no longer counterbalanced by surface tension. A simple physical model reveals that this process, termed lilypad aggregation, is possible only for surface energies that favour neither bulk aggregation nor the growth of an interfacial film. These surface energies dictate the final size and shape of the aggregate and may be estimated through visual monitoring of its changing morphology. Lilypad aggregates sequester metal from the surrounding sol and can be collected manually from the surface of the liquid.

Item Type:Article
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Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.
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Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1039/D0SC02190C
Publisher statement:This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence.
Date accepted:07 July 2020
Date deposited:14 July 2020
Date of first online publication:07 July 2020
Date first made open access:14 July 2020

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