Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Severin Schneebeli


This research aims to investigate how particles assemble together through thermodynamic and kinetic control. Particle assembly with thermodynamic control is achieved in part due to electrostatic attraction between particles. Electrostatic attraction between particles can be achieved by functionalizing polystyrene or SiO2 particles with different charges. Particles with different charges will come together in solution slowly and self-assemble to form ordered crystals with different patterns based on size and charge ratios of two oppositely charged particles. Kinetic control of particle assembly is achieved by pattern aided exponential amplification of nanoscale structures. Some of these nanoscale structures are difficult to build with other conventional synthetic methods. On the other hand, as for kinetically controlled particle replication, the patterns can be synthesized by one of two ways i) crystal products which are produced by thermodynamically controlled particle assembly or ii) single particle deposition. Specifically, kinetically controlled particle assembly focuses on constructing SiO2 particles. Exponential replication of SiO2 particles is achieved by growing a "bridge layer", between templates of SiO2 particles and next generation SiO2 replicas. By dissolving the bridge layer, two times the amount of the SiO2 particles with the shape of the original templates can be formed. In the next generation, all the particles serve as template particles. Thus, after n cycles of replication, 2n amount of products can be formed. If successful, particle assembly can be thermodynamic controlled and particle exponential replication can be kinetical controlled, which will enable new ways to build particles with well-defined shapes from readily available building blocks.



Number of Pages

44 p.

Included in

Chemistry Commons