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Nanoengineering Particles through Template Assembly

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posted on 06.10.2016, 19:43 by Mattias Björnmalm, Jiwei Cui, Nadja Bertleff-Zieschang, Danzi Song, Matthew Faria, Md. Arifur Rahim, Frank Caruso
The nanoengineering of particles is of interest for both fundamental and applied science. How particles are made substantially affects their properties and quality, and therefore usefulness. Disseminating current understanding of particle engineering can help facilitate the use of existing technologies, as well as guide future developments. Herein, we describe three methods used in our laboratory for the nanoengineering of particles, based on template assembly, and discuss important considerations for each. First, we describe the use of layer-by-layer assembly for depositing multilayered nanofilms on particle surfaces to generate core–shell particles and hollow capsules. Second, we detail the use of mesoporous silica templating for the engineering of porous polymer replica particles. Third, we describe how the coordination of phenolic compounds and metal ions can be used to fabricate thin films via metal–phenolic network formation on particle templates. We provide stepwise, easy-to-follow guides for each method and discuss commonly encountered challenges and obstacles, with considerations for how to alter these protocols to achieve desired particle properties. While we intend for these guides to be easily accessible to researchers new to particle engineering, we believe they can also provide useful insight to experienced researchers working in the field of engineering advanced particles.