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Supraparticles with new functionalities: assembly of nanoparticles via spray-drying

Susanne Wintzheimera, Karl Mandela,b and the Particle Technology Groupsa,b

a) Chair of Chemical Technology of Materials Synthesis, Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg, Röntgenring 11, D97070 Würzburg, Germany; b) Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC, Neunerplatz 2, D97082 Würzburg, Germany;


In the past decades, tremendous progress has been made in synthesizing nanoparticles with perfectly tailored composition, size and shape. A step further is now to consider these nanoparticles as the atoms of tomorrow [1] and create “molecules” out of them, i.e., more complex particulate units from these building blocks (Figure 1). Such entities, which can be termed supraparticles [2], often provide unexpected functionalities exceeding the sum of properties of their constituent building blocks.

This work uses the high throughput processing method spray-drying in order to assemble long-known colloidal nanoparticles such as iron oxide or silica nanoparticles. It turns out that based on the processing parameters and building block selection, diverse supraparticles with novel functionalities can be created for various applications. As examples, supraparticles carrying a unique magnetic or luminescent ID [3, 4], and supraparticles, which can be used as mechanical or gas sensors [5, 6], will be shown.

All together, it will be demonstrated that by combining long-known nanoparticle building blocks to supraparticles via spray-drying a new world at the “supra-nano-level” opens up and provides plenty of room for new properties and potential applications.

Figure 1: Unexpected functionalities emerge from assembly of nano building blocks to supraparticles via spray-drying.

[1] Glotzer S. C., Solomon M.J., Nat. Mater., 2007, 6, 557.

[2] Wintzheimer S., Granath T., Oppmann M., et al., ACS Nano, 2018, 12, 5093.

[3] Miller F., Wintzheimer S., Reuter T., et al., ACS Appl. Nano Mater., 2020, 3, 734-741.

[4] Müssig S., Fidler F., Haddad D., et al., Adv. Mater. Technol., 2019, 4, 1900300.

[5] Wintzheimer S., Oppmann, M., Dold, M., et al., Part. Part. Syst. Charact., 2019, 1900254.

[6] Wintzheimer S., Reichstein J., Wenderoth S., et al., Adv. Funct. Mater., 2019, 29, 1970129.


Dr. Susanne Wintzheimer
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)
Additional Authors:
  • Dr. Karl Mandel
    University of Würzburg; Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research Würzburg


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