Self-organization of nanoparticles and molecules in periodic Liesegang-type structures. Journal Article uri icon



  • Chemical organization in reaction-diffusion systems offers a strategy for the generation of materials with ordered morphologies and structural hierarchy. Periodic structures are formed by either molecules or nanoparticles. On the premise of new directing factors and materials, an emerging frontier is the design of systems in which the precipitation partners are nanoparticles and molecules. We show that solvent evaporation from a suspension of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and l-(+)-tartaric acid [l-(+)-TA] causes phase separation and precipitation, which, being coupled with a reaction/diffusion, results in rhythmic alternation of CNC-rich and l-(+)-TA-rich rings. The CNC-rich regions have a cholesteric structure, while the l-(+)-TA-rich bands are formed by radially aligned elongated bundles. The moving edge of the pattern propagates with a finite constant velocity, which enables control of periodicity by varying film preparation conditions. This work expands knowledge about self-organizing reaction-diffusion systems and offers a strategy for the design of self-organizing materials.

publication date

  • April 1, 2021

Full Author List

  • Ackroyd AJ; Holl√≥ G; Mundoor H; Zhang H; Gang O; Smalyukh II; Lagzi I; Kumacheva E

Other Profiles

Additional Document Info


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