Self-organization for shaping up materials
Shaping, sculpting, and forging customizable compounds into arbitrary forms has the potential to revolutionize technologies for advanced functional materials. Current self-assembly strategies allow for impressive levels of control over either shape or chemical composition, but not both, as self-assembly inherently entangles shape and composition. Inspired by natural and biologically controlled mineralization processes, we here achieve independent control over shape and composition. First, we exploit chemical gradients and light patterns to direct the self-organization of nanocrystals and an amorphous matrix into exact user-defined patterns and shapes. Second, we customize the chemical composition using ion-exchange reactions, while preserving the initially programmed patterns and shapes. Previously unimaginable customization of shape and composition is now achievable for organizing advanced functional components using bioinspired mineralization strategies.
Wim Noorduin is a scientific group leader at the Dutch scientific institute AMOLF and professor at the University of Amsterdam. Noorduin’s research focuses on the dynamic interplay between chemical reactions and crystallization phenomena to control the emergence of complexity in the solid state. In 2010, Noorduin received his PhD from Radboud University under guidance of Prof Elias Vlieg. From 2010 to 2013, he joined the group of Prof Joanna Aizenberg at Harvard University as a postdoctoral researcher. From 2014 to 2015, he functioned as both a research associate at Harvard University and an assistant professor at Radboud University. From 2015 onwards, he has been leader of the Self-Organizing Matter group at the NWO-Institute AMOLF in Amsterdam.
His current research interests focus on developing new strategies for producing chiral molecules, and controlling self-organization into complex and functional materials. For this work, Noorduin received various grants, including the ERC Consolidator, and Veni, Vidi and KLEIN grant from the NWO (Dutch Research Council).