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J Am Chem Soc. 2013 Jul 10;135(27):9972-5. doi: 10.1021/ja4022182. Epub 2013 Apr 19.

Liquid crystal-based emulsions for synthesis of spherical and non-spherical particles with chemical patches.

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Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.


We report the use of liquid crystal (LC)-in-water emulsions for the synthesis of either spherical or non-spherical particles with chemically distinct domains located at the poles of the particles. The approach involves the localization of solid colloids at topological defects that form predictably at surfaces of water-dispersed LC droplets. By polymerizing the LC droplets displaying the colloids at their surface defects, we demonstrate formation of both spherical and, upon extraction of the mesogen, anisotropic composite particles with colloids located at either one or both of the poles. Because the colloids protrude from the surfaces of the particles, they also define organized, chemical patches with functionality controlled by the colloid surface.

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