Apr 16, 2022

Nanoclusters self-organize into centimeter-scale hierarchical assemblies

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

Nature may abhor a vacuum, but it sure loves structure. Complex, self-organized assemblies are found throughout the natural world, from double-helix DNA molecules to the photonic crystals that make butterfly wings so colorful and iridescent.

A Cornell-led project has created synthetic nanoclusters that can mimic this hierarchical self-assembly all the way from the nanometer to the centimeter scale, spanning seven orders of magnitude. The resulting synthetic thin films have the potential to serve as a model system for exploring biomimetic hierarchical systems and future advanced functions.

This image shows synthetic nanoparticles as they self-organize into filaments, then twist into cables, then bundle together into highly ordered bands, ultimately resulting in a thin film that is patterned at centimeter scales. (Image courtesy of the researchers)

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