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J Am Chem Soc. 2008 Nov 5;130(44):14396-7. doi: 10.1021/ja805278x. Epub 2008 Oct 8.

Generation and assembly of spheroid-like particles.

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  • 1GE Global Research Center, Niskayuna, New York 12065, USA.


This paper reports a straightforward approach in generating spheroid-like particles and also the orientational orders observed in the self-assembly of these particles. Nonspherical particles, such as spheroid-like particles, are useful in both fundamental studies and industrial applications due to the geometry impact that they bring to the bulk properties of various material systems. Developing processes to generate nonspherical particles is an ongoing quest to meet the need of using such particles in different applications. The approach reported here takes advantage of a controlled chemical etching process. Exposing the spherical silica particles partially to carbon tetrafluoride in a reactive ion plasma-etching chamber transformed the particles from spherical shape into spheroid-like shape. A simple model is proposed to predict the geometry of the resulting nonspherical particles. The shape and dimension of the nonspherical particles generated through such a process matched well with the prediction of the model. The assembly of these spheroid-like particles showed a unique orientational order associated with the alignment of their axes. This approach will help further studies on the fundamental properties of the nonspherical particles, such as packing, rheology, and optical interaction.

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