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Lilypad aggregation: localised self-assembly and metal sequestration at a liquid-vapour interface

Jones, Christopher David; Lewis, Aled R; Jones, Daniel Raymond; Ottley, Chris; Liu, Kaiqiang; Steed, Jonathan W

Lilypad aggregation: localised self-assembly and metal sequestration at a liquid-vapour interface Thumbnail


Authors

Aled R Lewis

Chris Ottley

Kaiqiang Liu



Abstract

Spatially resolved soft materials, such as vesicles and microgels, have shown promise as selective adsorbents and microscale reaction vessels. However, spatiotemporal control of aggregation can be difficult to achieve. In this study, nickel(II) chloride and a dipyridyl oligo(urea) ligand were combined in a vapour-diffusion setup to produce a localised spheroidal aggregate at the liquid–vapour interface. This aggregate forms via the self-assembly and fusion of monodisperse colloids and grows until its weight is no longer counterbalanced by surface tension. A simple physical model reveals that this process, termed lilypad aggregation, is possible only for surface energies that favour neither bulk aggregation nor the growth of an interfacial film. These surface energies dictate the final size and shape of the aggregate and may be estimated through visual monitoring of its changing morphology. Lilypad aggregates sequester metal from the surrounding sol and can be collected manually from the surface of the liquid.

Citation

Jones, C. D., Lewis, A. R., Jones, D. R., Ottley, C., Liu, K., & Steed, J. W. (2020). Lilypad aggregation: localised self-assembly and metal sequestration at a liquid-vapour interface. Chemical Science, 11(28), 7501-7510. https://doi.org/10.1039/d0sc02190c

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 7, 2020
Online Publication Date Jul 7, 2020
Publication Date Jul 28, 2020
Deposit Date Jul 9, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jul 14, 2020
Journal Chemical Science
Print ISSN 2041-6520
Electronic ISSN 2041-6539
Publisher Royal Society of Chemistry
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 28
Pages 7501-7510
DOI https://doi.org/10.1039/d0sc02190c
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1260880

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