Nanotechnology by Self-Assembly

Course code: 491.617A
This course introduces the various types of self-assembly that can lead to nanostructured materials. Nanostructuring and organization of nanoparticles by self-assembly are very powerful concepts, playing key roles in naturally occurring biocomposites and rapidly gaining in importance in modern technology and materials science. We will explain amphiphile self-assembly (in Langmuir-Blodgett films and self-assembled monolayers (SAMs), cell membranes, micellar suspensions, lyotropic liquid crystals and block copolymers), ionic and hydrogen bond-driven self-assembly, DNA-guided self assembly, and give some examples of how engineering of biological structures like viruses can be used for nanotechnology . The key interactions (van der Waals and aromatic interactions, hydrophobic effect, and entropy-driven interactions) will be defined and discussed, as will the peculiar fluid physics that apply on the nanoscale. Relevant characterization techniques will also be briefly described. The course connects strongly to the course Soft Matter Physics and Convergence Polymer Science as the self-assembly processes considered almost always occur in soft matter systems, in many cases involving polymers.

Main course book:
Secondary books:
Several scientific journal articles of high current relevance will be distributed and discussed throughout the course.

Spring semester 2013
The class is scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays 17:00-18:15, but during the first lecture, on Tuesday 5th of March at 17:00 in room 220-204 (Gwanak campus), we will discuss the schedule with all attending students and possibly reschedule according to what is most convenient for everybody.
PDFs of the slides shown during the lectures will be available for download from the course resources page once the course has started.
Schedule (week by week):
  1. Introduction to the course and to the concepts self-assembly and self-organization. Fixation of schedule.
  2. The key interactions: van der Waals attraction, hydrogen bonding, entropy-driven interactions.
  3. The key building blocks: nanoparticles, polymers, amphiphiles and solvents. Crystals, glasses, liquid crystals and liquids.
  4. The unique physics of liquid-suspended nanoscale objects: extreme viscosity and stickiness. Brownian motion.
  5. Nanoparticle dispersions in aqueous and non-aqueous solvents.
    Oral mid-term exam 1 (in group).
  6. The Rayleigh instability, how to suppress it, and how to use it in nanotechnology. Electrospray and electrospinning.
  7. Amphiphile self-assembly and formation of micelles and Langmuir films. The Langmuir-Blodgett deposition technique. Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs).
  8. Soft lithography, dip pen lithography, nano-/microfluidics. Liquid crystalline self-assembly and its applications in nanotechnology.
  9. Self-assembly of block copolymers.
    Oral mid-term exam 2 (in group).
  10. Key characterization techniques (optical & electron microscopy; cryo preparation techniques; x-ray and light scattering; probe microscopy).
  11. Lipids, proteins and biomembranes: Nature's preferred nanotechnology. Soft nanotechnology in food science and pharmacology.
  12. DNA and its uses for directed nanoscale self-assembly. Ionic and hydrogen-bond-driven self-assembly.
  13. Virus engineering and their uses in nano- and microscale self-assembly. Nanostructured biocomposites; natural and artificial.
  14. Course review, example problem solving, additional topics of interest
  15. Final exam (oral, individual)
Consultation Time/Place(English) : Tuesdays 08:45-09:45 during the course period, office D-309 (Gwanggyo campus, GSCST).

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