Professor Christopher Li has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation for his project "Self and Programmable Assembly of Nanoparticles with Multicompartment Polymer Brushes."
The budget for the three-year project is $298,661 (CBET-1438240).
Nanometer-sized particles are arguably the most important building blocks for future advanced functional materials. To transfer their fascinating optical, electronic and magnetic properties from nano- to macro- scales, these nanoparticles need to be assembled into desired structures for targeted applications.
Most of the reported studies of nanoparticle assembly use spherical nanoparticles uniformly coated with surfactants and/or polymers. Assembly of these particles leads to phases with simple symmetries. If “patches” with distinct chemical properties can be introduced to a nanoparticle, the corresponding ensemble structures can be much more complex, with properties that can be better tailored for specific applications. This proposed work aims to investigate a novel method to synthesize such particles, and to explore their self-assembled structures for optical and electronic applications.