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Programmed nanoparticles organize themselves into highly complex nanostructures
Date:11/7/2013

Animal and plant cells are prominent examples of how nature constructs ever-larger units in a targeted, preprogrammed manner using molecules as building blocks. In nanotechnology, scientists mimic this 'bottom-up' technique by using the ability of suitably structured nano materials to 'self-assemble' into higher order architectures. Applying this concept, polymer scientists from Bayreuth, Aachen, Jena, Mainz, and Helsinki have recently published an article in the prestigious journal Nature that describes a new principle for the self-assembly of patterned nanoparticles. This principle may have important implications for the fundamental understanding of such processes as well as future technologies.

The research team is headed by Professor Axel Mller, who was holder of the Chair of Macromolecular Chemistry II at the University of Bayreuth until his retirement in 2012; he is now a Fellow of the Gutenberg Research College at Mainz University. The other members of the team are Dr. Andr Grschel (previously at the University of Bayreuth, now Aalto University Helsinki), Tina Lbling and Dr. Holger Schmalz (University of Bayreuth), Dr. Andreas Walther (Interactive Materials Research Center at Aachen University), and Junior Professor Dr. Felix Schacher (Friedrich Schiller University Jena). The research was conducted at the University of Bayreuth and funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) within the Collaborative Research Center 840 "From Particulate Nano-Systems to Mesotechnology."

The self-assembly process described in Nature commences with chain-like macromolecules with a size in the range of 10 to 20 nanometers. In chemistry, such macromolecules are called triblock terpolymers. They are composed of three linear sections (blocks) connected to each other in sequence. They are generated using a special synthetic process, i.e., the so-called "living polymerization," and are readily available to researchers. The research team was ab
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Contact: Dr. Axel H. E. Müller
axel.mueller@uni-mainz.de
49-613-139-22372
Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz
Source:Eurekalert  

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