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Immobilization of Colloidal Monolayers at Fluid–Fluid Interfaces

Laboratory for Interfaces, Soft matter and Assembly, Department of Materials, ETH Zurich, Vladimir-Prleog-Weg 5, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland
Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology, Department of Materials, ETH Zurich, Vladimir-Prleog-Weg 5, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Clemens K. Weiss
Received: 26 May 2016 / Revised: 21 June 2016 / Accepted: 24 June 2016 / Published: 8 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Colloid Chemistry)
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Monolayers of colloidal particles trapped at an interface between two immiscible fluids play a pivotal role in many applications and act as essential models in fundamental studies. One of the main advantages of these systems is that non-close packed monolayers with tunable inter-particle spacing can be formed, as required, for instance, in surface patterning and sensing applications. At the same time, the immobilization of particles locked into desired structures to be transferred to solid substrates remains challenging. Here, we describe three different strategies to immobilize monolayers of polystyrene microparticles at water–decane interfaces. The first route is based on the leaking of polystyrene oligomers from the particles themselves, which leads to the formation of a rigid interfacial film. The other two rely on in situ interfacial polymerization routes that embed the particles into a polymer membrane. By tracking the motion of the colloids at the interface, we can follow in real-time the formation of the polymer membranes and we interestingly find that the onset of the polymerization reaction is accompanied by an increase in particle mobility determined by Marangoni flows at the interface. These results pave the way for future developments in the realization of thin tailored composite polymer-particle membranes. View Full-Text
Keywords: colloids; fluid interfaces; immobilization colloids; fluid interfaces; immobilization

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MDPI and ACS Style

Bähler, P.T.; Zanini, M.; Morgese, G.; Benetti, E.M.; Isa, L. Immobilization of Colloidal Monolayers at Fluid–Fluid Interfaces. Gels 2016, 2, 19.

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