Directed Assembly in Hard and Soft Materials

The use of external fields to control and direct micro- and nanostructural evolution is a very promising avenue for achieving precise control of aggregation. Examples of ordered phase growth at the nanoscale, in both colloidal and hard material systems are shown in Figure 1 (taken from (a) A. F. van Blaaderen, http:/www.amolf.nl/research/colloidal_matter/ and (b) C.-Y. Hung et al., J. Nanoparticle Research 1, 329-347, (1999)).

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Figure 1: (a) Colloidal crystals (b) Spatially ordered arsenic precipitates driven by stressed lines in a multilayered structure.

This project is a highly interdisciplinary effort aimed at bringing together theorists and experimentalists to investigate fundamental mechanisms of aggregation in spatially heterogeneous environments.