UCLA researchers from the Departments of Chemistry and Physics have developed a novel method for creating multi-scale pre-assembled phases of matter with customizable symmetries, topologies, and degrees of order and disorder.
Microscale and nanoscale structures are important to many applications including biosensors, drug delivery, bio-scaffoldings, material science, industrial chemistry, environmental sensors, and battery technology. The assembly of complex structures is an issue due to the difficulty in manipulating components at such small scales. Therefore, typical structures often need to rely on self-assembling methods, which constrains the possible design space.
UCLA researchers have developed a novel method to create 2D monolayers or 3D phases of complex multi-scale materials with customizable symmetries, topologies, and degrees of order and disorder. This method allows the use of computer-aided design (CAD) software and lithography to fabricate, position, and orient many shape-designed colloidal particles into a desired complex configuration. For example, this method has been demonstrated to easily generate rings, chiral stars, dendrimers, linear and ring A/B copolymers, honeycomb sheets and lattices, and square mesh lattices. This key breakthrough allows the explicit specification of the desired colloidal particle structure as opposed to relying on the inherent self-assembling properties of the particles.
Monolayer, lattice, nanostructure, microstructure, condensed matter, lithography, multi-scale materials, polymers, nanotechnology, colloids, copolymers