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Self- Assembled Functional Materials
Self-organization of natural and synthetic macromolecules into complex structures whose periodicity spans from few up to hundreds of nanometers is a key procedure to design complex functional materials. In this approach, controlling the molecular architecture of the natural or synthetic components used allows tuning the characteristic length scale, and thus physical properties of the functional material, while the chemical nature of the components assesses the material functionality. By using block copolymers, proteins, surfactants, polypeptides, and colloids as building units and exploiting their self-assembly as general design procedure, we can rationalize structures serving in multiple applications as different as optoelectronics and life science.
Key questions:

How can we design functional materials at different length scales?

What are the key parameters which control the final structure in complex fluids?

How can we tune material functionality and adapt it to a specific problem?
Prof. Dr. Raffaele Mezzenga raffaele.mezzenga@unifr.ch