Surfactant-Mediated Two-Dimensional Crystallization of Colloidal Crystals

Science  17 Dec 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5448, pp. 2325-2328
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5448.2325

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Colloidal particles can form unexpected two-dimensional ordered colloidal crystals when they interact with surfactants of the opposite charge. Coulomb interactions lead to self-limited adsorption of the particles on the surface of vesicles formed by the surfactants. The adsorbed particles form ordered but fluid rafts on the vesicle surfaces, and these ultimately form robust two-dimensional crystals. This use of attractive Coulomb interaction between colloidal particles and surfactant structures offers a potential new route to self-assembly of ordered colloidal structures.

  • * Present address: Groupe de Dynamique des Phases Condensées, (CNRS-UMII) cc26, Université Montpellier II, place E. Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 5, France.

  • Present address: Department of Physics and Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: weitz{at}

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