Self-Assembly of Magnetic Nanostructures and Related Enabling Technologies

Project: Research project

Project Details


This multi-disciplinary proposal will unite researchers from physics, chemistry, and biology to work synergistically on a coherent project that involves one basic concept, the development and synthesis of novel materials from self-assembled magnetic nanostructures whose configuration and/or functions can be tuned and controlled by external fields. We will demonstrate that, by understanding physical mechanism of self-assembly and field-controlled phenomena and by bringing together two frontiers of the new century---the nanoscale science and the field of soft matter, we will be able to develop functional materials that enable new technologies ranging from memory devices, drug delivery agents, field-controllable nanomachines, magnetically actuatable polymers, and many other liquid, gel, or solid devices.

We propose to perform experimental and theoretical research to study the conditions for self-assembly phenomena in surfactant-stabilized magnetic fluids. Experimental observations using scattering techniques such as neutron and light scattering, imaging (Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)/Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM)), and thermodynamic measurements (e.g. heat capacity) will be supported and evaluated by using computer simulations. We propose to use realistic quaternion molecular dynamics simulations in viscous media to study the dynamics of isomer transitions under varying conditions and to present a correct interpretation of the experimental results. Based on the configuration of self-assembled structures in zero field and its response to external fields, novel structures can be synthesized that have important applications.

The proposed research will provide the basis for the design of new, smart materials and externally controlled systems that can respond to an external environment through the unique combination of theory, computer simulations, and experimental investigations. This work will have an important impact in applied physics, chemistry, material sciences, biology and medicine, and device industries. Our approach aims to facilitate the education of tomorrow's scientists in nanoscience and technology through the involvement of students in every aspect of proposed research.

Effective start/end date8/1/0112/31/06


  • National Science Foundation: $1,206,000.00


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