In the bimonthly Debye lunch lectures, young scientists from the Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science present their research.
This Debye Lunch Lecture, Wet-Chemical Synthesis of Chiral Colloids, will be given by Samia Samia Ouhajji from the Van 't Hoff Laboratory for Physical and Colloid Chemistry.
In this lecture I will present a method for the synthesis of chiral colloids that is not limited to certain materials or particle properties and that does not require DNA, anisotropic particle shapes or directional interactions. Our method exploits spontaneously formed hollow sugar-surfactant microtubes with internally confined mobile colloidal spheres to synthesize helical, zigzag and zipper colloidal chains in bulk. Key feature of our approach is the grafting of colloid surfaces with photo-responsive coumarin moieties, which allow for UV-induced, covalent clicking of colloids into permanent chains, with morphologies set by the colloid-to-tube diameter ratio. Subsequent dissolution of tube confinement yields aqueous suspensions that comprise bulk quantities of a variety of linear chains, including single helical chains of polystyrene colloidal spheres. These colloidal analogues of chiral molecules are a promising model system to study the role of chirality in the self-assembly and the diffusion of biological macromolecules, such as the DNA helix. Further insight into the functionality of chirality on the molecular scale could aid in the design of chiral materials.
(Samia Ouhajji, Bas G. P. van Ravensteijn, Carla Fernández-Rico, Kanvaly S. Lacina, Albert P. Philipse, and Andrei V. Petukhov, Wet-Chemical Synthesis of Chiral Colloids, ACS Nano 12, 12089−12095 (2018))