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Hierarchical self-assembly of colloidal membranes
Par Thomas Gibaud (ENS Lyon)
Le 16 Novembre 2015 à 11h00 - Salle de séminaires 5ème étagé, Tour 32-33


Nature excels at building complex functional materials. We however are far from understanding the
structure and mechanism involved in those materials and even further from being able to replicate
equivalent materials.
Here, we use stiff colloidal rods as minimalist building blocks to mimic biological structures such as
membranes. The colloidal nature of the building blocks allows up-scaling the size and slowing the
dynamics of the resulting self-assembled structure allowing better visualization and manipulation.
The colloidal synthesis is based on synthetic biology which allows via mutation to engineer libraries
of colloidal-rods with control over their aspect ratio, stiffness, and chirality. This control is critical to
pin down the physical essence of the material properties and allows a theoretical approach.
We show that monodisperse rods can self-assemble in a monolayer of aligned rods that behave on a
coarse grained level like lipid bilayers. The versatility of this system permits to tackles issues related
to chirality like its interplay with interfacial tension, the transition toward twisted ribbons  [1],
coalescence [2] and also membrane rafts and micro-phase separation [3].

[1] Self-assembly through chiral control of interfacial tension. T. Gibaud, E. Barry, M. Zakhary, M.
Henglin, A. Ward, Y. Yang, C. Berciu, R. Oldenbourg, M. Hagan, D. Nicastro, R. Meyer, Z. Dogic.
Nature 481, 348 (2012)
[2] Imprintable membranes from incomplete chiral coalescence. M. Zakhary*, T. Gibaud*, N. Kaplan,
E. Barry, R. Meyer, and Z. Dogic. Nature Communications 5, 3063 (2014)
[3] Hierarchical organization of chiral rafts in colloidal membranes. P. Sharma*, A. Ward*, T. Gibaud,
M. Hagan and Z. Dogic. Nature 513, 77 (2014)