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Sep 28, 2022

Physicists take self-assembly to new level

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

A team of physicists has created a new way to self-assemble particles—an advance that offers new promise for building complex and innovative materials at the microscopic level.

Self-assembly, introduced in the early 2000s, gives scientists a means to “pre-program” particles, allowing for the building of materials without further human intervention—the microscopic equivalent of Ikea furniture that can assemble itself.

The breakthrough, reported in the journal Nature, centers on emulsions—droplets of oil immersed in water—and their use in the self-assembly of foldamers, which are unique shapes that can be theoretically predicted from the sequence of droplet interactions.

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