Control of Nanomaterial Self-Assembly in Ultrasonically Levitated Droplets

Annela Seddon, Adam Squires, Christian Pfrang, Sam Richardson, Kunal Rastogi, Tomas Plivelic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)
559 Downloads (Pure)


We demonstrate that acoustic trapping can be used to levitate and
manipulate droplets of soft matter, in particular, lyotropic mesophases formed from selfassembly of different surfactants and lipids, which can be analyzed in a contact-less manner by X-ray scattering in a controlled gas-phase environment. On the macroscopic length scale, the dimensions and the orientation of the particle are shaped by the ultrasonic field, while on the microscopic length scale the nanostructure can be controlled by varying the humidity of the atmosphere around the droplet. We demonstrate levitation and in situ phase transitions of micellar, hexagonal, bicontinuous cubic, and lamellar phases. The technique opens up a wide range of new experimental approaches of fundamental importance for environmental, biological, and chemical research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1341-1345
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number7
Early online date15 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2016


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