Kinetic control of the coverage of oil droplets by DNA-functionalized colloids

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Science Advances  05 Aug 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 8, e1600881
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600881


We report a study of reversible adsorption of DNA-coated colloids on complementary functionalized oil droplets. We show that it is possible to control the surface coverage of oil droplets using colloidal particles by exploiting the fact that, during slow adsorption, compositional arrest takes place well before structural arrest occurs. As a consequence, we can prepare colloid-coated oil droplets with a “frozen” degree of loading but with fully ergodic colloidal dynamics on the droplets. We illustrate the equilibrium nature of the adsorbed colloidal phase by exploring the quasi–two-dimensional phase behavior of the adsorbed colloids under the influence of depletion interactions and present simulations of a simple model that illustrates the nature of the compositional arrest and the structural ergodicity.

  • Smart emulsions
  • colloidal aggregation
  • self-assembly
  • DNA functionalization

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