Self Assembly is critical for biological systems. Our understanding of how nature works its magic is leading to amazing new discoveries in development of materials and control at the nano-level. This looks like a great lecture which I hope gets repeated at UCSB.
Prof Matthew Tirrell University of California, Santa Barbara College of Engineering
Chemical Processing by Self-Assembly: Let's Take It Seriously
Plenary Lectures at ECCE-6
Danckwerts Lecture 2007: Matthew Tirrell
Presentation time: Wednesday 19, 09:40 to 10:30
Self-assembly is a route to processing of chemical products that relies on information content built into the process precursors. A challenge for engineers is to develop the practical routes to technologically important self-assembly processes. Self-assembly occurs frequently in biology but translating that bio-inspiration to controllable chemical processing presents many interesting problems. The complexity built into self-assembled products is at the level of supermolecular structure. Complexity, in the sense of development of emergent properties of an assembly that cannot readily be envisioned from the constituents, can arise spontaneously during self-assembly and often does, especially in biological systems. We are only beginning to develop sufficiently sophisticated synthetic assemblers to mimic biology in this way. Other routes to self-organization may also be of interest for nanotechnology. Prospects for success and current efforts in biomaterials, porous materials, molecular electronics and other areas will be discussed.