Soft matter and nanomaterials are two largely overlapping notions that greatly revolutionised materials science in the last decades. Here one of the key concepts is self-assembly, which leads to the appearance of structural features on the scales ranging from a nanometer to microns. In this lecture, I shall mainly focus on synchrotron studies of the self-assembly of nanoparticles, also known as colloids. After a short general introduction into the topic, I shall discuss the self-assembly of magnetic and non-magnetic cubic colloids with rounded edges [1,2]. In-situ studies of the self-organisation of semiconductor quantum dots at a liquid interface [3,4] will be illustrated. I shall describe our recent time-resolved study of the formation of microtubes [5,6], which we use as templates for the fabrication of chiral colloids [7,8]. Finally, new opportunities that can be provided by the EBS upgrade of the ESRF will be briefly discussed.

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