Colloidal Assembly and Structural Color

The assembly of colloidal particles into useful structures has long been a key aim of chemical engineers and material scientists. We address this challenge by synthesizing anisotropic colloids and self-assembling them with the assistance of applied electric, shear and gravitational fields.  We aim to establish the connection between microscopic assembling behavior and macroscopic colloidal crystal properties.  We probe the assembly microstructure using methods of confocal microscopy and small-angle light scattering (SALS) and macroscopic features are analyzed through reflectance spectroscopy and emergence of structural color.  This research contributes to the understanding of how colloidal building blocks can be utilized to generate large scale structures that exhibit rich and brilliant structural color to mimic that seen in nature – for instance – in cephalopods and beetles. 

Related Publications

  1. Kao, P.K., VanSaders, B.J., Glotzer, S.C. and Solomon, M.J., “Accelerated annealing of colloidal crystal monolayers by means of cyclically applied electric fields”, Scientific Reports, 11:11042 (2021).
  2. Liu, T., VanSaders, B.J., Glotzer, S.C. and Solomon, M.J., “Effect of defective microstructure and film thickness on the reflective structural color of self-assembled colloidal crystals”, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 12 (8), 9842-9850 (2020).
  3. Kao, P.K., VanSaders, B. J., Durkin, M. D., Glotzer, S. C. and M.J. Solomon, “Anisotropy effects on the kinetics of colloidal crystallization and melting: comparison of spheres and ellipsoids,” Soft Matter, 15, 7479 – 7489 (2019).
  4. Ferrar, J.A., D.S. Bedi, S. Zhou, P. Zhu, X. Mao, and M.J. Solomon,” Capillary-driven binding of thin triangular prisms at fluid interfaces,” Soft Matter14 3902-3918 (2018).
  5. Solomon, M.J., “Tools and Functions of Reconfigurable Colloidal Assembly,” Langmuir 34 11205-11219 (2018).
  6. Ferrar, J.A., L. Pavlovsky, Y. Liu, E. Viges, and M.J. Solomon, “Two-step continuous production of monodisperse colloidal ellipsoids at rates of one gram per day,” AIChE Journal 64(2) 697-707 (2018).
  7. Silvera Batista, C., H. Rezvantalab, R.G. Larson, and M.J. Solomon, “Controlled Levitation of Colloids through Direct Current Electric Fields,” Langmuir 33 (41), 10861–10867 (2017).
  8. Ganesan, M. and M.J. Solomon, “High-density Equilibrium Phases of Colloidal Ellipsoids by Application of Optically Enhanced, Direct Current Electric Fields,” Soft Matter 6, 557–562 (2017).
  9. Shah, A.A., Schultz, B., Zhang, W., Glotzer, S.C. and Solomon, M.J., “Actuation of shape-memory colloidal fibres of Janus ellipsoids,” Nature Materials, 14, 117-124 (2015).

Contact Current Post Docs & Graduate Students:

  • Tianyu Liu
  • Peng-Kai Kao
  • Tianyu (Terry) Liu