Module 2: Responsive materials by self-assembly

F/D

This module focuses on the fundamental physical and physical-chemical aspects of self-assembly as well as applications of self-assembled structures in photonic applications. Self-assembly happens when the components of a system assemble themselves spontaneously via an interaction to form a larger functional unit. This spontaneous organization can take place because of a direct interaction and/or environmental factors.

Research projects

  • Understanding and controlling the interactions between responsive building blocks for smart materials design.
  • Confinement induced stable liquid phases mimicking the behavior in cell membrane lipid bilayers.
  • Ultrafast stimuli-responsive color-changing hydrogels.
  • Multi-responsive photonic materials as tunable filters, sensors and switches.

Goals

  • Develop a better understanding on how to control interactions between colloidal building blocks of smart materials.
  • Unravel the physical mechanisms by which quenched disorder can arrest the process of phase separation.
  • Reproduce the color effect of an expanding-contracting pigment pouch using clusters of stimuli-responsive microgels.
  • Develop and tailor biomimetic photonic materials that can respond to different external triggers using colloidal self-assembly or lithography and subsequent chemical modification.

Project leaders:

Understanding and controlling the interactions between responsive building blocks for smart materials design

Confinement induced stable liquid phases mimicking the behavior in cell membrane lipid bilayers

Ultrafast stimuli-responsive color-changing hydrogels

Multi-responsive photonic materials as tunable filters, sensors and switches

Associated project: Exploring vesicle-containing metallosupramolecular polymers

Associated project: Fluorescent nanodiamonds as quantum bio-molecular probes for live cell imaging and sensing

The National Centers of Competence in Research (NCCR) are a research instrument of the Swiss National Science Foundation
Hosted by: Adolphe Merkle Institute - Chemin des Verdiers 4 - CH-1700 Fribourg - Phone +41 26 300 9266