January 19, 2022 UMD Home FabLab AIMLab

Bottom-up Design of Functional Nano- and Micro-scale Materials

Contributor: Zhihong Nie

Figure 1. Design and self-assembly of colloidal particles as molecular mimics. Supracolloidal molecules that are assembled from polymer-coated Au nanoparticles resemble organic molecules with defined valances such as HCl, CO2, BF3, and CH4, thus enabling their further self-assembly into structures at a higher hierarchical level.

Science Insight

Colloidal particles uniformly coded with nonbiological ligands become encoded with directional information, which may guide the multiple-step self-assembly of colloidal building blocks into hierarchically structured functional materials, mimicking the specificity of molecular assemblies governed by spatial coordination and valance states.

Research Impact

The creation of a library of wet-chemical synthesis routines and design principles for tailoring multiple interactions will offer unlimited opportunities for the bottom-up design and creation of novel structured functional materials through colloidal assembly, revolutionizing the materials discovery toward desirable applications in such as energy, biomedical, optical, and electronic fields.


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