(402g) 2D-Macromolecular Heterostructures Enabled Memristive Colloidal Particle

Liu, A. T., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Liu, P., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Kozawa, D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dong, J., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Yang, J. F., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Koman, V., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Saccone, M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Strano, M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Arming nanoelectronics with mobility and self-awareness opens new opportunities in macromolecular science. Originally referred to as electronics based on chemically synthesized nanostructures, nanoelectronics today can also be fabricated following conventional top-down approaches that scale with Moore’s law. Although the subject has been studied intensively for the past two decades and finds application in a variety of disciplines from computing to energy generation, examples of nanoelectronics with mobility and on-board logics remain elusive. As an emerging paradigm that calls for several scientific and engineering disciplines to work in unison, it is necessary to establish a strong narrative that sets the field apart from similar concepts with explicit, unambiguous functions. In this context, I will discuss how the growing library of 2D-soft material composites, with the suite of exotic properties they command, has facilitated the symbiotic engraftment of electronics onto mobile colloidal particles,[1] thus paving the way towards next-generation microrobotics with both low energy consumptions as well as complex functions.

I will focus on our recent efforts in synthesizing such 2D-macromolecular heterostructures, using a novel fabrication technique named autoperforation, owing to the spontaneous perforation of the grafted 2D materials around a pre-designed polymer template.[1] This method lay the foundation of building the proposed colloidal state machines. We have demonstrated, for the first time, that nanoelectronic devices can be grafted onto and/or embedded within colloidal microparticles, creating autonomous machines capable of complex operations in a particulate form.[1] The characteristic mobility of a colloidal system integrates seamlessly with the modularity that comes with modern digital electronics, enabling information collection and recording in enclosed spaces – such as the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract,[1] microfluidic channels, and chemical/biosynthetic reactors – as well as remote locations like oil and gas conduits, waterbodies, soil, or the atmosphere.[1] Ultimately, we envision an intelligent colloidal microrobot that collects, manipulates, and stores information autonomously, extending electronic systems into traditionally inaccessible environments.

  1. Liu, A. T.; Liu, P. †; Kozawa, D.; Dong, J.; Yang, J. F.; Koman, V. B.; Saccone, M.; Wang, S.; Son, Y.; Wong, M. H.; Strano, M. S.* Nature Materials 2018, just accepted.