One-Pot Self-Assembly of Dual-Color Domes Using Mono-Sized Silica Nanoparticles

“One-Pot Self-Assembly of Dual-Color Domes Using Mono-Sized Silica Nanoparticles”, a paper in Nano Letters.

Chang Li, a PhD student and a research team led by Professor Anderson Ho Cheung Shum, Professor of Department of Mechanical Engineering devised a “One-Pot Self-Assembly of Dual-Color Domes Using Mono-Sized Silica Nanoparticles”. This work is a collaboration with Professor Yanlin Song and Associate Professor Huizeng Li from the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Recently, the research work has been published in Nano Letters on June 22, 2022.

Details of the publication:

One-Pot Self-Assembly of Dual-Color Domes Using Mono-Sized Silica Nanoparticle

Chang Li, Yafeng Yu, Huizeng Li, Jingxuan Tian, Wei Guo, Yanting Shen, Huanqing Cui, Yi Pan, Yanlin Song and Ho Cheung Shum

Article information: Nano Lett. 2022, 22, 13, 5236–5243.


Spots with dual structural colors on the skin of some organisms in nature are of tremendous interest due to the unique function of their dye-free colors. However, imitation of them requires complicated manufacturing processes, expensive equipment, and multiple predesigned building blocks. In this work, a one-pot strategy based on the phase-separation-assisted nonuniform self-assembly of monosized silica nanoparticles is developed to construct domes with dual structural colors. In drying poly(ethylene glycol)-dextran-based (PEG-DEX) droplets, mono-sized nanoparticles distribute nonuniformly in two compartments due to the droplet inner flow and different nanoparticle compatibility with the two phases. The dome colors are derived from the self-assembled nanoparticles and are programmable by regulating the assembly conditions. The one-pot strategy enables the preparation of multicolor using only one type of building block. With the dual-color domes, encrypted patterns with a high volume of contents are designed, showing promising applications in information delivery.