Surfactant-Assisted Emulsion Self-Assembly of Nanoparticles into Hollow Vesicle-Like Structures and 2D Plates

Ji Eun Park, Danielle Reifsnyder Hickey, Sangmi Jun, Seulki Kang, Xiaole Hu, Xi Jun Chen, So Jung Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The emulsion-based self-assembly of nanoparticles into low-dimensional superparticles of hollow vesicle-like assemblies is reported. Evaporation of the oil phase at relatively low temperatures from nanoparticle-containing oil-in-water emulsion droplets leads to the formation of stable and uniform sub-micrometer vesicle-like assembly structures in water. This result is in contrast with those from many previously reported emulsion-based self-assembly methods, which produce solid spherical assemblies. It is found that extra surfactants in both the oil and water phases play a key role in stabilizing nanoscale emulsion droplets and capturing hollow assembly structures. Systematic investigation into what controls the morphology in emulsion self-assembly is carried out, and the approach is extended to fabricate more complex rattle-like structures and 2D plates. These results demonstrate that the emulsion-based assembly is not limited to typical thermodynamic spherical assembly structures and can be used to fabricate various types of interesting low-dimensional assembly structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7791-7798
Number of pages8
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number43
StatePublished - Nov 15 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
J.P. and D.R.H. contributed equally to this work. S.-J.P. acknowledges the financial support from the National Research Foundation of Korea grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (NRF-2015R1A2A2A01003528) and the partial support from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. S.J. acknowledges the financial support from the Korea Basic Science Institute grant (C36950).


  • emulsions
  • hollow structures
  • nanoparticles
  • self-assembly
  • surfactants


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