A Lost-Wax Approach to Monodisperse Colloids and Their Crystals

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Science  19 Jan 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5503, pp. 453-457
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5503.453

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We report a nanoscale “lost-wax” method for forming colloids with size distributions around 5% and their corresponding colloidal crystals. Macroporous polymer templates are first prepared from a silica colloidal crystal. We then use the uniform and interconnected voids of the porous polymer to generate a wide variety of highly monodisperse inorganic, polymeric, and metallic solid and core-shell colloids, as well as hollow colloids with controllable shell thickness, as colloidal crystals. We can also uniformly deform the polymer template to alter colloidal shape and demonstrate the formation of elliptical particles with precisely controlled aspect ratios.

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