Self-assembly of nanomaterials at fluid interfaces
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- Toor, A., Feng, T. & Russell, T. Eur. Phys. J. E (2016) 39: 57. doi:10.1140/epje/i2016-16057-x
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Recent developments in the field of the self-assembly of nanoscale materials such as nanoparticles, nanorods and nanosheets at liquid/liquid interfaces are reviewed. Self-assembly behavior of both biological and synthetic particles is discussed. For biological nanoparticles, the nanoparticle assembly at fluid interfaces provides a simple route for directing nanoparticles into 2D or 3D constructs with hierarchical ordering. The interfacial assembly of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) at liquid interfaces would play a key role in applications such as nanotube fractionation, flexible electronic thin-film fabrication and synthesis of porous SWCNT/polymer composites foams. Liquids can be structured by the jamming of nanoparticle surfactants at fluid interfaces. By controlling the interfacial packing of nanoparticle surfactants using external triggers, a new class of materials can be generated that combines the desirable characteristics of fluids such as rapid transport of energy carriers with the structural stability of a solid.