Support The World's Smartest Network

Help the New York Academy of Sciences bring late-breaking scientific information about the COVID-19 pandemic to global audiences. Please make a tax-deductible gift today.

This site uses cookies.
Learn more.


This website uses cookies. Some of the cookies we use are essential for parts of the website to operate while others offer you a better browsing experience. You give us your permission to use cookies, by continuing to use our website after you have received the cookie notification. To find out more about cookies on this website and how to change your cookie settings, see our Privacy policy and Terms of Use.

We encourage you to learn more about cookies on our site in our Privacy policy and Terms of Use.

Self Assembly

Self Assembly

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By


The Soft Materials Discussion Group works to regularly convene investigators in the New York region with an interest in soft materials research and development and provide a forum for ideas and advances between scientists, engineers, and other key stakeholders working in academia, industry, and non-for- profit entities. To ensure impact globally, the meeting proceedings will be disseminated electronically. The interdisciplinary topics include a range of technology important materials in colloids, polymers, emulsions, liquid and organic crystals, membranes, proteins, cells, and tissue.

Moderator: Michael Ward, NYU



5:00 PM - 5:40 PM
Bio-Inspired Crystallization
Joanna Aizenberg, Harvard University

5:40 PM - 6:25 PM
Bioinspired Self-Assembly of Functional Nanosystems
Virgil Percec, UPenn

6:25 PM - 7:00 PM
Controlling the Microscopic World with Forces Exerted by Holograms
David G. Grier, New York University

Bio-Inspired Crystallization
Joanna Aizenberg
Harvard University
The formation of exquisite inorganic structures in nature (such as bones, teeth, and skeletons of marine organisms) is controlled by the arrays of self-assembled biological molecules in the form of proteins, polysaccharides, vesicles, and cells. The study of these unique biominerals provides inspiration for the development of novel, bio-inspired synthetic routes to inorganic materials. This talk will focus on new crystallization and assembly strategies inspired by biomineralization mechanisms. The use of synthetic self-assembled molecules designed a-la their biological counterparts made it possible to achieve a remarkable level of control over various aspects of the crystal nucleation and growth, including the precise localization of particles, nucleation density, crystal sizes, morphology, crystallographic orientation, arbitrary shapes, microstructure, stability and architecture.

Controlling the Microscopic World with Forces Exerted by Holograms
David G. Grier

Department of Physics and Center for Soft Matter Research New York University

Holographic trapping uses forces exerted by computer-generated holograms to trap hundreds of microscopic objects simultaneously and to organize them into three-dimensional structures. Examples include real-time manipulation of carbon nanotubes and semiconductor nanowires, and assembly of colloidal spheres into three-dimensional quasicrystals for photonic applications. Measurements of colloidal interactions with holographically structured light fields demonstrate that phase gradients in beams of light give rise to a previously unappreciated class of optical forces. These phase-gradient forces, moreover, generically violate conservation of energy. They are useful, therefore, for creating active micromachines that are assembed and actuated entirely with static beams of light. This talk also will introduce holographic video microscopy as a method for tracking microparticles with nanometer resolution in three dimensions and for characterizing their optical properties with unprecedented precision in real time.

Bioinspired Self-Assembly of Functional Nanosystems
Virgil Percec
Our laboratory is involved in the use of biological systems as models for the elaboration of new concepts at the interface between macromolecular, supramolecular and biological sciences. These concepts are subsequently used in the design of functional complex soft materials by following the biological principles: structure determines functions (Science 1997, 278, 449-452; Nature 1998, 391, 161-164; Nature 2002, 419, 384-387; Science 2003, 299, 1208-1211; Nature 2004, 428, 157-160; Nature 2004, 430, 764-768; PNAS 2006, 103, 2518-2523). This lecture will discuss the elaboration of helical porous supramolecular and macromolecular structures as mi