Forces that drive the formation of self-assembled nanostructures

Wei Lu,Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan
Mon, 2015-07-20 14:00 - 15:00

Advanced technologies demand solid structures of ever decreasing size scales. Self-assembly is a promising low-cost and high-throughput approach to fabricate and pattern nanoscale features. Insights into functioning energetic forces at this scale and development of advanced simulation capability for the nanofabrication process become increasingly valuable. This talk presents some of our work to understand and explore various self-assembly mechanisms to pattern nanoscale structures. The modeling and simulation of the self-assembly process and guided self-assembly suggest that these mechanisms may be broadly applied to diverse systems and thus enable a broad range of applications and potential products. Examples include self-organized nanophase patterns on solid surfaces, guided assembly by surface chemistry and strain field, patterning multilayer of molecules via dipole interaction, electric field induced ordered nanostructures, filament nanostructures formed by capillary forces, and growing large nanostructured superlattices by sequential activation of self-assembly. I will also show how these structures may motivate novel applications.

Dr. Wei Lu is Professor of the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Michigan (UM) and Director of the research center: GM/UM Advanced Battery Coalition for Drivetrains. He earned his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2001 and joined the faculty of UM in the same year. Prof. Lu uses multi-scale and multi-physics modeling and experimental approaches to address emerging challenges in energy and nanomechanics across multiple scales. He has made seminal contributions to the scientific understanding and engineering application of mechanics and materials systems involving interface motion, structure evolution and deformation.
Prof. Lu is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Among his honors include the Distinguished Professor Award by Novelis and the University of Michigan; Gustus L Larson Memorial Award by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers; the Faculty Recognition Award by the University of Michigan; Department’s Achievement Award; Robert M. Caddell Memorial Research Achievement Award; the National Science Foundation’s CAREER Award; the Robert J. McGrattan Award by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers; the U.S. Air Force Summer Faculty Fellow. He was also invited to the National Academies’ Keck Futures Initiative Conference multiple times.