Confinement of Colloids with Competing Interactions in Ordered Porous Materials

Horacio Serna, Eva G. Noya, and Wojciech T. Góźdź​

J. Phys. Chem. B 2020, 124, 46, 10567–10577


abstractIn this work, we explore the possibility of promoting the formation of ordered microphases by confinement of colloids with competing interactions in ordered porous materials. For that aim, we consider three families of porous materials modeled as cubic primitive, diamond, and gyroid bicontinuous phases. The structure of the confined colloids is investigated by means of grand canonical Monte Carlo simulations in thermodynamic conditions at which either a cluster crystal or a cylindrical phase is stable in bulk. We find that by tuning the size of the unit cell of these porous materials, numerous novel ordered microphases can be produced, including cluster crystals arranged into close packed and open lattices as well as nonparallel cylindrical phases.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 711859.