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Droplets, Evaporation and a Superhydrophobic Surface: Simple Tools for Guiding Colloidal Particles into Complex Materials

Sperling, Marcel; Gradzielski, Michael

The formation of complexly structured and shaped supraparticles can be achieved by evaporation-induced self-assembly (EISA) starting from colloidal dispersions deposited on a solid surface; often a superhydrophobic one. This versatile and interesting approach allows for generating rather complex particles with corresponding functionality in a simple and scalable fashion. The versatility is based on the aspect that basically one can employ an endless number of combinations of components in the colloidal starting solution. In addition, the structure and properties of the prepared supraparticles may be modified by appropriately controlling the evaporation process, e.g., by external parameters. In this review, we focus on controlling the shape and internal structure of such supraparticles, as well as imparted functionalities, which for instance could be catalytic, optical or electronic properties. The catalytic properties can also result in self-propelling (supra-)particles. Quite a number of experimental investigations have been performed in this field, which are compared in this review and systematically explained.
Published in: Gels, 10.3390/gels3020015, MDPI