(360b) Electrostatic 'catalysis' of 'nano-Molecules'

Authors: 
Walker, D. A., Northwestern University
Grzybowski, B., Northwestern University
Zhuang, Q., Northwestern University


While there has been significant progress in controlling the size, shape and properties of nanomaterials, their controlled assembly into nanostructures remains a significant challenge. As many researchers begin to look at the assortment of nanoparticles (NPs) around them as a new type of periodic table, the new standard in nanoscience is to manipulate these NPs into structures with the same finesse that an organic chemist manipulates atoms into molecules. Towards this end, we have used charged NPs that effectively 'catalyze' the assembly of other charged reactive NPs into 'nanomolecules'. At the crux of this system is the delicate interplay of electrostatic interactions which one can use to control the rates of reaction during the assembly process and selectively assemble different types of NPs. A mixture of experimental  as well as theoretical results will be presented.