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Functional Nanoscale and Hierarchical Materials by Crystallization-Driven Self-Assembly

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Molecular synthesis has evolved to a relatively advanced state allowing the creation of remarkably organic complex molecules of size < 1 nm. However, the ability to prepare well-defined materials in the 10 nm – 10 micron size regime with controlled shape and size and structural hierarchy is still in its relative infancy and currently remains the virtually exclusive domain of biology. In this talk recent developments concerning a promising new route to well-defined 1D and 2D materials within this size regime, termed “living crystallization-driven living self-assembly” (CDSA), will be described. The “seeded growth” characteristic of living CDSA means that the process can be regarded as a type of “living supramolecular polymerization” that is analogous to living covalent (e.g. anionic) polymerizations of molecular monomers and also to biological “nucleation-elongation” processes such as amyloid fiber growth. This approach uses block copolymers, homopolymers with charged termini, or pi-stacking molecules as building blocks and leads to uniform 1D and 2D nanoscale and hierarchical materials with a wide range of potential applications in areas such as electronics, catalysis and biomedicine.

This talk is part of the Materials Chemistry Research Interest Group series.

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