Colloidal silica spheres with 200nm, 250nm, and 290nm diameters were self-assembled with single crystal crystallites 4-5mm wide and 10-15mm long. Larger spheres with diameters between 1000-2300nm were self-assembled with single crystal crystallites up to 1.5mm wide and 2mm long. The silica opals self-assembled vertically along the  direction of the face centered cubic lattice resulting in self-templated opals. Inverse opal photonic crystals with a partial band gap possessing a maximum in the near infrared at 3.8μm were constructed from opal templates composed of 2300nm diameter spheres with chalcogenide Ge<sub>33</sub>As<sub>12</sub>Se<sub>55</sub> (AMTIR-1), a transparent glass in the near infrared with high refractive index. Inverse gold and gold/ polypropylene composite photonic crystals were fabricated from synthetic opal templates composed of 200-290nm silica spheres. The reflectance spectra and electrical conductance of the resulting structures is presented. Gold was infiltrated into opal templates as gold chloride and heat converted to metallic gold. Opals partially infiltrated with gold were co-infiltrated with polypropylene plastic for mechanical support prior to removal of the silica template with hydrofluoric acid.
Colloidal biomimetic disc shaped metallic gold shells with a uniform size distribution were synthesized using red blood cells as sacrificial templates. Red blood cells do not reproduce by dividing; hence they are truly colloidal particles. They are almost completely filled with hemoglobin allowing for an extremely dynamic work cycle with long intercellular vacations separated by self-destructive workloads on the cell surface. This method of exchange is emulated in the presented research. The colloidal disc shaped gold shells were coated with multiple layers of 50nm fluorescent polystyrene spheres followed by chemical removal of the gold core. This process yielded hollow synthetic biomimetic membranes with a strong optical signature that are diffusely permeable to water and impervious to particles larger than a few nanometers. Currently, the most successful synthetic intravascular oxygen carrying materials are perfluorocarbons; however, they break down quickly in roughly 50 hours from overexposure to their in vivo workload. The meso-porous membrane cages will be filled with hundreds of fibrous spheroid conglomerates composed of perfluorocarbon chains that can protrude through the meso-porous membrane as they thermally jostle about the cage. This is to statistically limit the exposure time of individual polymer strands to the self-destructive work at the surface and hopefully will greatly increase the effective functioning lifetime of the perfluorocarbon-based synthetic red blood cell. The artificial membranes are intentionally designed to be weak allowing them to flex under normal pressures and to hopefully burst under more extreme conditions such as blockage.
A technique for the fabrication of colloidal gold nano-wire and nano-dumbbell shaped particles using carbon nanotubes and rod shaped viruses as templates is described. The gold (Au) encapsulation process was accomplished by the precipitation of gold chloride from aqueous solutions. When this process was conducted in the presence of hydroxylated C<sub>60</sub>, small pieces of phase-separated composites of AuC<sub>60</sub> appeared to have formed. These nano-clusters may turn out to be large noble metal analogs of the alkali metal fullerides with the smallest geometrically possible Au aggregate consisting of 55 gold atoms. The existence of noble metal fullerene composites has been previously theorized. The alkali metal fullerides are examples of phase separated solids and have exhibited superconductivity with temperatures as high 33K. The mechanism required for the binding energy between C60 and gold has been observed to exist between C<sub>60</sub> and many of the mirror metals (Al, Ag, Au, Cu, Ni). This binding energy is a charge transfer from the metal Fermi level into the C<sub>60</sub> LUMO. If this bonding energy, is greater than the metals coagulation energy an Au/C60 size terminated mechanism during the formation of the gold aggregates by the adhesion of C60 to the surface is energetically favorable.
Self assembled synthetic opals composed of spheres with 200-1500nm diameters were infiltrated with poly[2-methoxy-5-(20-ethylhexyloxy)-1,4-phenylenevinylene] (MEH-PPV) and Poly [(<i>m</i>-phenylenevinylene)-<i>co</i>- (2,5-dioctoxy-<i>p</i>-phenylenevinylene)] (PmPV) which are luminescent polymers. The luminescence spectra of the polymers was blue shifted when infiltrated deep into the nano-scopic opal pores relative to the luminescence spectra from thick films of the bulk polymers. Inverse composite plastic and luminescent polymer opals were constructed resulting in a significant blue shift in the peek luminescence of MEH-PPV from 568nm for the bulk polymer to 520nm in the inverse opal structure. We found that the majority of the blue shifting observed could be explained by the formation of isolated polymer strands within the opals. Silica spheres were coated with MEH-PPV, dispersed in H<sub>2</sub>O and coated with polyelectrolytes which recharged and sterically stabilized the colloidal surfaces. Luminescence spectra from individual and self-assembled silica spheres coated with MEH-PPV were also blue shifted.