Fine-tuning the interactions between particles can allow one to steer their collective behaviour and structure. A convenient way to achieve this is to use solvent criticality to control attraction, via critical Casimir forces, and to control repulsion via the Debye screening of electrostatic interactions. Herein, we develop a multiscale simulation framework and a method for controlled deposition of quantum dots to investigate how these interactions affect the structure of charged nanoparticles deposited on a substrate, altogether immersed in a binary liquid mixture intermixed with salt. We consider nanoparticles and substrates favouring the same component of the mixture and find that the critical Casimir interactions between the nanoparticles become drastically reduced at the substrate. In particular, the interactions can become a few kBT weaker and their decay length a few orders of magnitude smaller than in the bulk. At off-critical compositions, the decay length increases upon approaching criticality, as expected, but the interaction strength decreases. With molecular dynamics simulations and experiments, we reveal that the nanoparticles can self-assemble into crystalline clusters which form superstructures resembling cluster fluids and spinodal morphology. The simulations additionally predict the formation of fractal-like nanoparticle gels and bicontinuous phases. Our results demonstrate that charged nanoparticles in a salty binary liquid mixture provide exciting opportunities to study the formation of complex structures experimentally and theoretically, which may lead to applications in optoelectronics and photonics.

Vasilyev OA, Marino E, Kluft BB, Schall P, Kondrat S (2021). Debye vs. Casimir: controlling the structure of charged nanoparticles deposited on a substrate. NANOSCALE, 13(13), 6475-6488 [10.1039/d0nr09076j EA MAR 2021].

Debye vs. Casimir: controlling the structure of charged nanoparticles deposited on a substrate

Marino E;
2021-03-09

Abstract

Fine-tuning the interactions between particles can allow one to steer their collective behaviour and structure. A convenient way to achieve this is to use solvent criticality to control attraction, via critical Casimir forces, and to control repulsion via the Debye screening of electrostatic interactions. Herein, we develop a multiscale simulation framework and a method for controlled deposition of quantum dots to investigate how these interactions affect the structure of charged nanoparticles deposited on a substrate, altogether immersed in a binary liquid mixture intermixed with salt. We consider nanoparticles and substrates favouring the same component of the mixture and find that the critical Casimir interactions between the nanoparticles become drastically reduced at the substrate. In particular, the interactions can become a few kBT weaker and their decay length a few orders of magnitude smaller than in the bulk. At off-critical compositions, the decay length increases upon approaching criticality, as expected, but the interaction strength decreases. With molecular dynamics simulations and experiments, we reveal that the nanoparticles can self-assemble into crystalline clusters which form superstructures resembling cluster fluids and spinodal morphology. The simulations additionally predict the formation of fractal-like nanoparticle gels and bicontinuous phases. Our results demonstrate that charged nanoparticles in a salty binary liquid mixture provide exciting opportunities to study the formation of complex structures experimentally and theoretically, which may lead to applications in optoelectronics and photonics.
9-mar-2021
Settore FIS/01 - Fisica Sperimentale
Vasilyev OA, Marino E, Kluft BB, Schall P, Kondrat S (2021). Debye vs. Casimir: controlling the structure of charged nanoparticles deposited on a substrate. NANOSCALE, 13(13), 6475-6488 [10.1039/d0nr09076j EA MAR 2021].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10447/640609
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