Soft Condensed Matter Seminars
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
Growth and Self-assembly Processes Near and Far from Equilibrium
Growth and self-assembly processes sometimes result, on laboratory timescales, in structures that are in thermal equilibrium, and sometimes result in structures that are “trapped” out of equilibrium. I will discuss examples of each. DNA “bricks” are nanometer-scale particles that self-assemble into equilibrium structures of about 1000 particles in size. Each particle in these structures is of a distinct type and has a defined spatial location. I will discuss the constraints that inter-particle interactions must satisfy in order to produce such equilibrium structures in high yield. I will also discuss the case of a two-component mixture of particles that can self-assemble into a nonequilibrium structure in which component types are intermingled in a manner similar to spins in a ferromagnet at a (static) critical point. I will argue that such “critical soft matter” could be self-assembled from DNA-coated colloids, and would have new and useful properties.