Towards Designed Nanoscale Systems via Self-Assembly: Nano Seminar Series

Seminar | February 24 | 2-3 p.m. | 390 Hearst Memorial Mining Building

 Prof. Oleg Gang, Columbia Univ., Applied Physics / Chemical Engineering

 Berkeley Nanosciences and Nanoengineering Institute

In the last decades nanoscale inorganic objects emerged as a novel type of matter with unique functional properties and a plethora of prospective applications. Although a broad range of nano-synthesis methods has been developed, our abilities to organize these nano-components into designed static and reconfigurable architectures are quite limited.

Molecular encoding of nano-object allows establishing highly selective interactions between the components. Such encoding may permit programming of complex and dynamically tunable nano-systems via self-assembly: molecular structures act as site-specific scaffolds, smart assembly guides and reconfigurable structural elements.

I will discuss our advances in addressing the challenge of self-assembly by design using a DNA platform, in which a high degree of addressability of nucleic acids is used to direct the formation of structures from nanoscale components. Our work investigates the major leading parameters determining a structure formation in such systems and explores new concepts for creating targeted nano-architectures.

The principles and practical approaches developed by our group allow for assembly of well-defined three-dimensional superlattices, two-dimensional membranes and finite-sized clusters from the multiple types of the nano-components. Our recent advances in assembly by design will be illustrated by nanoparticle lattices with “engineered” crystallographic symmetries and clusters with prescribed architectures.

Finally, I will discuss new approaches for controlling a dynamic behavior of nano-systems, including selective triggering of system transformations and molecular amplification cascades. Some examples of the assembly strategy for creating materials with novel optical and mechanical properties, and for bio-sensing will be provided.

Oleg Gang did his PhD at Bar-Ilan in Israel and postdoc at Harvard. After over a decade at Brookhaven Nat'l Lab, he recently moved to Columbia. Awards include the Dept of Energy Outstanding Mentor and the Battelle Inventor of the Year for 2016.