(5ax) Dynamic Self-Assembly: Model Systems and a Theory in the Making | AIChE

(5ax) Dynamic Self-Assembly: Model Systems and a Theory in the Making


Bishop, K. J. M. - Presenter, Penn State University

Dynamic self-assembly (DySA) refers to the spontaneous formation of organized structures from many discrete components, interacting via dissipative (irreversible) processes far from thermodynamic equilibrium. Such processes are important in the context of novel engineering applications (e.g., adaptive and reconfigurable materials) and offer fundamental insights into biological systems and ultimately life, itself. Currently, our level of understanding of DySA processes is poor due to a lack of model systems and the absence of a common theoretical framework with which to approach DySA problems. Here, I describe the development of three model, experimental DySA systems: (i) DySA via dynamic surface tension, (ii) magneto-hydrodynamic DySA, and (iii) DySA of photoswitchable nanoparticles. The systems are designed for use as test-beds for the development of new theories of DySA and vary widely in both length scale ? macro to nanoscopic ? and in the nature of energy dissipation. As new theories will borrow heavily from the areas of dissipative dynamical systems and nonequilibrium thermodynamics, I review many of the relevant concepts here. The ultimate goal of this research is the development of universal principles governing the processes of dynamic self-assembly in far-from-equilibrium systems and across many length scales.