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Geometrically frustrated assembly: Limits of self-limitation

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  • UserGregory Grason (University of Massachusetts)
  • ClockThursday 24 August 2023, 10:00-10:30
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PMVW01 - 5th International Conference on Packing Problems: Packing and patterns in granular mechanics

Geometric frustration is most often associated with the disruption of long-range order and proliferation of defects in the bulk state of a self-organizing system.  Soft and self-assembled materials, on the other hand, are composed of intrinsically flexible building blocks held together deformable and non-covalent forces. As such, soft assemblies systems are able to tolerate some measure of local misfit due to frustration, allowing imperfect order to extend over at least some finite range. This talk focuses on theoretical frameworks for exploiting geometrically-frustrated assemblies (GFAs) to realize size-controlled, self-limiting assembly.   While concepts of GFA have been used to describe a broad range of soft matter structures, from self-twisting protein filament bundles,  chiral membranes, to spherical shells, current challenges focus on exploiting the scale-dependent thermodynamics of GFA to design and realize new classes of intentionally ill-fitting assemblies that target equilibrium architectures with well-defined dimensions on length scales that extend far beyond the size of the building blocks.  In this talk, I describe some of the emerging principles and ongoing efforts to engineer the intra-assembly stress propagation and thermodynamic self-limitation in assemblies through the shape, interaction and flexibility of those building blocks, as well as recent attempts to develop a statistical mechanical framework to study the influence of finite-temperature and concentration fluctuations in GFA . 

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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