Simple strategies to produce perfect long range order in self-assembly
In a recent rapid communication (see attached paper), using principles of pattern formation, we expose some simple stategies to reliably produce perfect long range order in self-assembling systems. Most self-assembling systems exhibit short ranged order. This imperfection is detrimental to several practical applications. It is almost always possible to produce perfect patterns in small domain sizes but self-assembly over a larger areal span results in defects.
Wei Lu, Zhigang Suo and others have done extensive work on this including coming up with approaches where electromagnetic fields may be used to create desired patterns (provided atoms of the self-assembling system respond to such fields). In the present work, we present an alternative approach which utilizes symmetry principles and nonlinear stablity analysis. We illustrate our central premise based on a paradigmatic self-assembly model developed by Zhigang Suo and Wei Lu for monolayer self-assembly. However, the general strategy should be applicable to many other self-assembling systems which are governed by different nonlinear PDEs. For example, we are currently applying this work for designing perfect long range order in Stranski-Krastanov quantum dot growth process (to be published).
I and my co-authors would welcome feedback from the community