MEMS/MatSci Seminar: Programming Materials Assembly Across Scales
Andrea Tao, UC San Diego
Abstract: How do we engineer matter at different length scales? My lab investigates experimental synthesis and assembly techniques that allow us to organize colloidal nanoparticles rationally, precisely, and collectively into larger-scale architectures. I will present work at three different scales. On the molecular scale: I will present our work on the design of supramolecular coordination polymers. These self-assembled molecules serve as precursors for thermolysis and the generation of shaped solid-state nanocrystals. On the nanoscale: I will discuss how shaped metal nanocrystals can be assembled into resonant optical nanojunctions that facilitate intense electromagnetic field localization and inelastic electron tunneling. On the mesoscale: I will discuss different assembly strategies (layer-by-layer, Langmuir-Blodgett) that we have developed for organizing colloidal nanoparticles into thin-films and stacked structures, with the ultimate goal of building functional architected materials.
Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Location: Fitzpatrick Center Schiciano Auditorium Side A, room 1464
Krieger, Katie

Link for Professor Epps

Abstract:  The design, synthesis, and self-assembly of nanostructure-forming block copolymers (BCP)s can facilitate the development of new materials for many emerging applications.  In the Epps group, we are focused on elucidating the structure/property/function relationships inherent in nanostructured polymers to create unique systems exhibiting molecular-level assembly. A particular interest in our research group is the coupling of thermodynamic and kinetic constraints in self-assembling polymers for a variety of potential platforms including lithium battery membranes, green and bio-based materials, and drug delivery capsules. Two areas of recent progress in the group involve: (1) designing new stimuli-responsive copolymers for gene therapy applications, and (2) synthesizing new bio-based alternatives, based on lignin, for thermoplastics and adhesives applications. In the first area, we use photo-responsive functionalities, as well as our understanding of solution self-assembly, to create nanoscale nucleic acid delivery vehicles.  These systems show increased cellular uptake, stable packaging, on-demand unpackaging, and controlled/tunable/efficient delivery relative to standard nucleic acid transfection agents. In the second area, we modify lignin model compounds and 'real' biomass-derived compounds for use in the controlled synthesis of bio-based materials.  One recent task has been the investigation of styrene-alternatives for BCPs with tunable glass transition and degradation temp.