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Sterically stabilized lock and key colloids: A self-consistent field theory study

By S. A. Egorov


A self-consistent field theory study of lock and key type interactions between sterically stabilized colloids in polymer solution is performed. Both the key particle and the lock cavity are assumed to have cylindrical shape, and their surfaces are uniformly grafted with polymer chains. The lock-key potential of mean force is computed for various model parameters, such as length of free and grafted chains, lock and key size matching, free chain volume fraction, grafting density, and various enthalpic interactions present in the system. The lock-key interaction is found to be highly tunable, which is important in the rapidly developing field of particle self-assembly

Topics: Condensed Matter - Soft Condensed Matter, Condensed Matter - Statistical Mechanics
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1063/1.3591970
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