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Self-assembly and Self-propulsion of Versatile Rod-shaped Nanoparticles

THESIS IN PHYSICAL AND ENGINEERING SCIENCES, STARTING FALL 2019, BORDEAUX

In the last two decades, the elaboration of materials through self-assembly processes has emerged as a major scientific theme. The ultimate goal of such a research field is the rational design of self-assembled superstructures with collective properties and functionalities that the primary particles do not exhibit. In this PhD project, we focus on self-assembly and self-propulsion of rod-shaped particles. The model of rod-shaped particle we used is filamentous phages (fd/M13). The PhD student will first study the regioselective functionalization of these phages with metal nanoparticles and quantum dots, to bind them either on the body or the tips of the viruses. The conditions of the self-assembly will be varied to control the valency (ratio nanoparticles/viruses) of the hybrid resulting structures. The self-organization of these hybrid structures will be studied, targeting many liquid crystalline phases with potential applications in sensors and optical materials. A special interest will be devoted to the functionalization of the tip with thermoresponsive polymers in order to create colloidal patchy particles with a directional attraction reversible with temperature.

Figure 1 : Representation (a) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) image (b) of a scepter-like hybrid particle, where a metallic (Pt here) nanoparticle is tip-linked to a filamentous virus. Scale bar : 500nm. Self-propulsion of these particles to form microswimmers by generating a local gradient field (chemical or thermal) is virtually unexplored and will be investigated by playing with the experimental conditions (using either catalytic or thermal nanomotor). Various experimental techniques will be provided in our research group, including standard methods for chemical and biological functionalizations, operating optical (confocal, fluorescence) and electron microscopes. Other facilities like X-ray and light scattering are also available.

 [1]

PLEASE CONTACT (CV) :

- Eric Grelet
Centre de Recherche Paul Pascal (CRPP) UMR 5031
115 Av Schweitzer, 33600 Pessac, FRANCE ;
E-mail : Eric Grelet ; Tél : 05 56 84 56 13


[1] Reference : Rod-like virus based multiarm colloidal molecules A. de la Cotte, C. Wu, M. Trévisan, A. Repula, E. Grelet ACS Nano 11, 10616 (2017).