Stimuli-Responsive Particle-Based Amphiphiles as Active Colloids Prepared by Anisotropic Click Chemistry

Amphiphiles alter the energy of surfaces, but the extent of this feature is typically constant. Smart systems with amphiphilicity as a function of an external, physical trigger are desirable. As a trigger, the exposure to a magnetic field, in particular, is desired because it is not shielded in water. Amphiphiles like surfactants are well known, but the magnetic response of molecules is typically weak. Vice-versa, magnetic particles with strong response to magnetic triggers are fully established in nanoscience, but they are not amphiphilic. In this work colloids with Janus architecture and ultra-small dimensions (25nm) have been prepared by spatial control over the Thiol-Yne click modification of organosilica-magnetite core-shell nanoparticles. The amphiphilic properties of these anisotropically modified particles are proven. Finally, a pronounced and reversible change in interfacial stabilization results from the application of a weak (<<1T) magnetic field.