Department Colloquium (joint with CBE): "Structuring Matter over Multiple Length Scales using the Self-Assembly of Colloidal Particles"

Wed, 04/10/2019 - 16:00 - 17:00
Marjolein Dijkstra, Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Utrecht University

In 1960, Feynman challenged us to think “from the bottom up” and to create new functional materials by directing and manipulating the arrangements of individual atoms ourselves. With recent advances in the synthesis of colloidal nanoparticles and the bottom-up fabrication of nanostructured materials using colloidal self-assembly, we are tantalizingly close to realizing this dream. In this talk, I will show using computer simulations how one can use hierarchical self-assembly to structure matter over multiple length scales, which enables an unprecedented control over the properties and functionalities of these nanomaterials. The ability of colloidal particles to self-organize into ordered structures makes the prediction and design of these structures an important challenge for science. I will present a method to predict which structures are stable assuming the interactions between the constituent particles are known, showing that particle shape alone can give rise to a wide variety of structures.  Subsequently,  I will show how one can reverse-engineer the particle shape to stabilize highly exotic liquid crystal phases.

Host: Randy Kamien
David Rittenhouse Laboratory, A8