Interactions and Transport of Charged Species in Bulk and at Interfaces
Adding charges to conventional patchy colloids: layers formation in inverse patchy systemsEmanuela Bianchi
Inverse patchy colloids (IPCs) are heterogeneously charged particles characterized by a non-trivial interplay between attractive and repulsive directional interactions . Within this class of systems, we consider IPCs with two charged polar regions and one oppositely charged equatorial belt. We first investigate the assembly of these colloids under planar confinement in thermodynamic conditions such that the formation of extended structures is favored: (i) a general tendency to form quasi two-dimensional aggregates is observed irrespective of the confinement size, (ii) a clear distinction between the formation of ordered versus disordered aggregates is possible based on the specific features of the inter-particle interaction, and (iii) a simple way to tune via experimentally accessible parameters the ordering of IPCs in the vicinity of a possibly charged substrate is presented. Second, we consider an IPC system that exhibits a bulk phase diagram characterized by a broad region where a structure composed by parallel monolayers is stable and we report about the the effect of the parameters featured in the particle-particle interaction potential on the whole phase diagram [4,5].
 Soft Matter 7, 8313 (2011)
 ACS Nano 7, 4657 (2013)
 NANO letters 14, 3412 (2014)
 Soft Matter 10, 8464, (2014)
 Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 27, 234103 (2015)