Self-Assembly

 

A process that produces structures by spontaneous agglomeration or aggregation of smaller entities into larger stable structures, driven by minimization of Gibbs free energy, but whose actual path is determined by the principle of least action.

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A popular term which implies that ordering of a system can be gained through its own potential (or Providence). Because of thus introduction of a certain mystification, it is better avoided in scientific publications.

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Assembling of components to create a new level of organization without external input

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Self-assembly is a term used to describe processes in which a disordered system of pre-existing components forms an organized structure or pattern as a consequence of specific, local interactions among the components themselves, without external direction.

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At the molecular level, the spontaneous gathering of molecules into well-defined, stable, structures that are held together by intermolecular forces. In chemical solutions, self-assembly (also called Brownian assembly) results from the random motion of molecules and the affinity of their binding sites for one another. Self-assembly also refers to the joining of complementary surfaces in nanomolecular interaction. Developing simple, efficient methods to organize molecules and molecular clusters into precise, pre-determined structures is an important area of nanotechnology exploration.

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Refers to the use in materials processing or fabrication of the tendency of some materials to organize themselves into ordered arrays (e.g., colloidal suspensions). This provides a means to achieve structured materials "from the bottom up" as opposed to using manufacturing or fabrication methods such as lithography, which is limited by the measurement and instrumentation capabilities of the day. For example, organic polymers have been tagged with dye molecules to form arrays with lattice spacing in the visible optical wavelength range and that can be changed through chemical means. This provides a material that fluoresces and changes colour to indicate the presence of chemical species.

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Spontaneous aggregation of molecules or other particles to complex and ordered systems. Referred to as Self-Assembled Monolayers (SAM) in the case of quasi two-dimensional aggregating systems. Although Self-Assembly and Self-Organisation are very similar, the term Self-Assembly is normally used for systems where covalent bonds are involved whereas Self-Organisation points to weakly interacting systems as they can be found for example in biological systems.

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In chemical solutions, self-assembly (also called Brownian assembly) results from the random motion of molecules and the affinity of their binding sites for one another. Also refers to the joining of complementary surfaces in nanomolecular interaction. [ZY] See MITRE Nanosystems Research Task: Self-Assembly of Nanosystems and Microsystems

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Process that creates the specific conditions under which atoms and molecules spontaneously arrange themselves into a final product

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Refers to the use in materials processing or fabrication of the tendency of some materials to organize themselves into ordered arrays (e.g., colloidal suspensions). This provides a means to achieve structured materials "from the bottom up" as opposed to using manufacturing or fabrication methods such as lithography, which is limited by the measurement and instrumentation capabilities of the day. For example, organic polymers have been tagged with dye molecules to form arrays with lattice spacing in the visible optical wavelength range and that can be changed through chemical means. This provides a material that fluoresces and changes colour to indicate the presence of chemical species.

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In chemical solutions, self-assembly (also called Brownian assembly) results from the random motion of molecules and the affinity of their binding sites for one another. Also refers to the joining of complementary surfaces in nanomolecular interaction. [ZY] See MITRE Nanosystems Research Task: Self-Assembly of Nanosystems and Microsystems

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A method of integration in which the components spontaneously assemble, typically by bouncing around in a solution or gas phase until a stable structure of minimum energy is reached.

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A bottom-up assembly method by which individual components of a structure come together, usually by bouncing around in a solution or gas. They connect to each other based on their structural (or chemical) properties.

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