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Macromol Rapid Commun. 2010 Jan 18;31(2):150-68. doi: 10.1002/marc.200900614. Epub 2010 Jan 5.

Fabrication, assembly, and application of patchy particles.

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Complex Fluids Research, Procter and Gamble Co., 8256 Union Center Blvd. West Chester OH 45069, USA.


The site-specific engineering of colloidal surfaces has provided a powerful approach to pushing the boundaries of today's materials research. The resulting surface-anisotropic and patchy particles have become the center of vital research areas, ranging from the need for large-scale fabrication techniques to exploring new applications of these materials. This Review summarizes patchy particle fabrication techniques, including but not limited to particle and nanosphere lithography and glancing-angle deposition. The variety of existing patchy particle fabrication techniques is revealed and the need for a scalable approach to high-volume patchy particle production is identified. Ongoing modeling efforts describing patchy particle interactions and properties are reviewed as potential predictive tools. Research endeavors that deal with the directed assembly of patchy particles in electric and magnetic fields, as well as with supraparticular assembly through chemical interactions, are discussed. The Review is concluded with a note on the future application of patchy particles as phoretic motors.


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