Self-assembled clusters of patchy rod-like molecules

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JURÁSEK Miroslav VÁCHA Robert

Year of publication 2017
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source SOFT MATTER
MU Faculty or unit

Central European Institute of Technology

Field Physical chemistry and theoretical chemistry
Description The design of complex self-assembled structures remains a challenging task due to the intricate relationship between the properties of the building blocks and the final morphology of the aggregates. Here, we report such a relationship for rod-like particles with one or two attractive patches based on a combination of computer simulations and analytical theory. We investigated the formation of finite aggregates under various conditions and constructed structure diagrams, which can be used to determine and extrapolate the system composition. The size of the clusters is mainly determined by the size of the attractive patches and their geometrical arrangement. We showed that it is challenging to obtain clusters with more than four particles in high yields, and more complex building blocks or additional molecules would need to be used. Moreover, the particles with patch sizes close to the structure boundaries can switch between the aggregate state by a small change in conditions. These findings can be useful for the development of self-assembling building blocks and for the understanding of protein folds of coiled coils under various conditions.
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