Self-assembly: from crystals to cells

Bartosz A. Grzybowski, Christopher E. Wilmer, Jiwon Kim, Kevin P. Browne, Kyle J. M. Bishop
2009 Soft Matter  
Self-assembly (SA) is the process in which a system's components-be it molecules, polymers, colloids, or macroscopic particles-organize into ordered and/or functional structures without human intervention. The main challenge in SA research is the ability to "program" the properties of the individual pieces such that they organize into a desired structure. Although a general strategy for doing so is still elusive, heuristic rules can be formulated that guide design of SA under various conditions
more » ... and thermodynamic constraints. This Review examines SA in both the equilibrium and non-equilibrium/ dynamic systems and discusses different SA modalities: energy driven, entropy-driven, templated, and field-directed. Non-equilibrium SA is discussed as a route to reconfigurable ("adaptive") materials, and its connection to biological systems is emphasized.
doi:10.1039/b819321p fatcat:wc7gz4ajs5ef7jzcxmysjtkhb4