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Probing temperature responsivity of microgels and its interplay with a solid surface by super-resolution microscopy and numerical simulations

Xhorxhina Shaulli1, Rodrigo Rivas-Barbosa2, Maxime J. Bergman1, Chi Zhang1, Nicoletta Gnan3,2, Frank Scheffold1, Emanuela Zaccarelli3,2*

1 Department of Physics, University of Fribourg, Chemin du Musée 3, 1700Fribourg, Switzerland

2 Department of Physics, Sapienza University of Rome, Piazzale Aldo Moro 2, 00185Roma, Italy

3 CNR Institute of Complex Systems, Uos Sapienza, Piazzale Aldo Moro 2, 00185Roma, Italy

* Corresponding authors emails: emanuela.zaccarelli@cnr.it
DOI10.24435/materialscloud:18-kv [version v1]

Publication date: Feb 10, 2023

How to cite this record

Xhorxhina Shaulli, Rodrigo Rivas-Barbosa, Maxime J. Bergman, Chi Zhang, Nicoletta Gnan, Frank Scheffold, Emanuela Zaccarelli, Probing temperature responsivity of microgels and its interplay with a solid surface by super-resolution microscopy and numerical simulations, Materials Cloud Archive 2023.24 (2023), doi: 10.24435/materialscloud:18-kv.


Super-resolution microscopy has become a powerful tool to investigate the internal structure of complex colloidal and polymeric systems, such as microgels, at the nanometer scale. An interesting feature of this method is the possibility of monitoring microgel response to temperature changes in situ. However, when performing advanced microscopy experiments, interactions between the particle and the environment can be important. Often microgels are deposited on a substrate, since they have to remain still for several minutes during the experiment. In the publication associated with this data, we use direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (dSTORM) and advanced coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations to investigate how individual microgels anchored on hydrophilic and hydrophobic surfaces undergo their volume phase transition with temperature. We find that, in the presence of a hydrophilic substrate, the structure of the microgel is unperturbed and the resulting density profiles quantitatively agree with simulations performed under bulk conditions. Instead, when a hydrophobic surface is used, the microgel spreads at the interface and an interesting competition between the two hydrophobic strengths, monomer–monomer vs monomer–surface, comes into play at high temperatures. The data deposited on the Materials Cloud Archive contains the initial microgel configuration in LAMMPS read format, the calculated radii and the density profiles under the different temperatures and surfaces.

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File name Size Description
1.5 MiB Initial microgel configuration in lammps read format. Radii and density profiles in "dat" format


Files and data are licensed under the terms of the following license: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International.
Metadata, except for email addresses, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 International license.


molecular dynamics microgels volume phase transition H2020 CINECA-ISCRA Experimental

Version history:

2023.24 (version v1) [This version] Feb 10, 2023 DOI10.24435/materialscloud:18-kv