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Mono-patchy zwitterionic microcolloids as building blocks for pH-controlled self-assembly

: Mehr, F.N.; Grigoriev, D.; Puretskiy, N.; Böker, A.


Soft matter 15 (2019), Nr.11, S.2430-2438
ISSN: 1744-683X
ISSN: 1744-6848
Fraunhofer IAP ()

A directional molecular interaction between microcolloids can be achieved through pre-defined sites on their surface, “patches”, which might make them follow each other in a controlled way and assemble into target structures of more complexity. In this article, we report the successful generation and characterization of mono-patchy melamine–formaldehyde microparticles with oppositely charged patches made of poly(methyl vinyl ether-alt-maleic acid) or polyethyleneimine via microcontact printing. The study of their self-aggregation behavior in solution shows that by change of pH, particle dimers are formed via attractive electrostatic force between the patchy and non-patchy surface of the particles, which reaches its optimum at a specific pH.