Research in Vogel Lab
Research in the self-assembled materials group gravitates around the self-organization of colloidal particles. We seek a fundamental understanding of self-assembly processes to create defined nanostructured materials and surfaces. In a bioinspired approach, we mimic the emergence of functional properties in materials arising from such structural motifs at the nano- and microscale.
Confined Self-Assembly and Supraparticles
The assembly of colloidal particles in the confinement of an emulsion droplet is a simple yet complicated process as interaction forces, interfacial properties, jamming and frustration all play critical roles in the crystallization process. We seek to fundamentally understand the crystallization mechanism and to control the resulting morphology of such assembly structures.
Particles at Interfaces
Colloidal particles strongly adsorb to liquid interfaces, which provides an ideal two-dimensional confinement for the investigation of self-assembly processes. We correlate the interfacial properties and morphology of colloidal particles and soft microgels with their self-assembly and phase behaviour. We use this fundamental understanding of interfacial self-assembly to control the order and symmetry in colloidal monolayers
Nanostructures and Plasmonics
Creating surface patterns at nanoscale is a key step for different scientific and technological objectives. We apply colloidal monolayers as templates and masks to create optically, mechanically and biologically active substrates. This colloidal lithography approach allows for the preparation of high quality surface pattern over macroscopic dimensions. Our current focus is the design of plasmonic materials with tailored light-matter interactions.
Natural materials with remarkable functional properties often arise from defined structural motifs at the nano- and microscale. We seek to mimic such functionality by controlling the internal structure of materials using our self-assembly processes. We are currently focusing on the design of self-cleaning, repellent surface coatings and structural color.