Nanoparticle Positioning on Liquid and Polymerized Faceted Droplets

Orlando Marin, Moshe Deutsch, David Zitoun, Eli Sloutskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Nanoparticle (NP)-decorated emulsion droplets are widely employed in science and technology. Yet, no method for a precise positional control of individual NPs on the droplet's surface has been hitherto demonstrated, thus restricting the nanotechnological application of such systems. Here, we present such a method based on the surface-freezing effect, which forms a crystalline monolayer at the surface of oil-in-water emulsion droplets, and, upon further cooling, renders the liquid droplets faceted. We demonstrate experimentally that by tuning the temperature (T) below the faceting temperature, Td, the NPs spontaneously self-position at the vertices of the faceted droplets because this reduces the system's elastic energy. The precise vertex positions of the NPs are revealed by scanning electron microscopy of faceted droplets that were solidified by polymerization at T < Td. The details of the energetics underlying the NPs' self-positioning dynamics are elucidated by Brownian dynamics simulations, and the low limit on the NP sizes exhibiting self-positioning is estimated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28192-28200
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number46
StatePublished - 21 Nov 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Chemical Society.


We thank Dr. Michal Weitman, Dr. Reut Cohen, Dr. Michal Afri, Dr. Hugo E. Gottlieb, and Shir R. Liber for discussion and technical assistance. This research is supported by the Israel Science Foundation (grant no. 1779/17). We thank the Kahn foundation for the funding of the equipment.

FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation1779/17


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