Physical and Colloid Chemistry
The Van 't Hoff Laboratory is part of the Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science and the department of Chemistry of the Utrecht University. The Debye Institute is a collaboration between groups of the department of Chemistry and the department of Physics and Astronomy.
The research theme of the Physical and Colloid Chemistry Group is the self - organization of colloids and nanoparticles in liquid media. In particular we are interested in the structure and formation dynamics of (liquid) crystals and random packings of colloidal spheres, rods, and plates. More recently we started working on dipolar magnetic structures, patchy colloids, solid-stabilized emulsions, inorganic macromolecules, and virus capsids. Our research can roughly be divided into three parts:
1. development of new model systems (which includes chemical synthesis);
2. study of the structure and dynamics of dispersions of colloids or nanoparticles by scattering of X-rays, neutrons and light as well as analytical ultracentrifugation and optical and electron microscopy;
3. development of theoretical models. Throughout we demonstrate how to control colloidal interactions to manipulate the structure and properties of chemically complex systems, which has ramifications not only for fundamental science, but also for chemical technology.
Helical Colloidal Sphere Structures via Thermo-Reversible Co-Assembly with Molecular Microtubes
Lingxiang Jiang, Julius de Folter and coworkers discovered how colloidal helices can be created via the co-assembly of colloids and molecules, which was reported in Angewandte Chemie. While surfactant and cyclodextrin molecules form microtubes, spherical colloids assemble into a library of dynamic colloid-in-tube structures within those microtubes. Double and triple colloidal helices are generated by employing the simplest of building blocks, namely isotropic spheres. Helical structures, known from e.g. DNA and proteins, are a common occurrence in nature. By tuning the tube-sphere size ratio, the diversity of colloidal architectures that form via this hierarchical self-assembly approach is extended with straight, zigzag, and zipper chains. In situ observations of colloid-in-tube structures, including their assembly upon cooling and disassembly upon heating, demonstrate the potential of the interplay between molecular and colloidal self-assembly. The colloid-in-tube co-assembly provides a novel route to temperature-sensitive particle alignment and their release near human-body temperature.
The work was discussed in the Dutch national newspaper de Volkskrant and the Chemisch2Weekblad and was highlighted at the Inside Cover of Angewandte Chemie.
Friday Nano Seminar: Meetings are held on Fridays from 13.15 - 14.15
FCC Group Meetings: Meetings are held on Tuesdays from 9.30 - 10.30 am in Kruyt W728
Information for Employees
Employee information can also be found on FCCNet (local access only!).