Steering patchy particles using multivalent electrolytes

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Abstract

Proteins and many recently designed colloids can be regarded as patchy particles where directional interactions strongly influence and govern assembly behavior. Using explicit ion implicit solvent Metropolis Monte Carlo simulations, we investigate spherical model particles, carrying both charge and electric patches, in dilute aqueous 1 : 1, 1 : 3, and 3 : 1 electrolyte solutions. Striking differences in pair interaction free energies and orientational correlations are induced by three different salts which are discussed and rationalized in terms of ion-binding to surface groups, ion-ion correlations, and double layer forces. These findings suggest a general strategy where directional, intermolecular interactions can be invoked and tuned via small amounts of a carefully chosen electrolyte.

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  • Physical Chemistry
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4591-4597
Number of pages7
JournalSoft Matter
Volume13
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes