The objective of this project is to develop a simple, yet robust, flow-enabled self-assembly (FESA) method through the use of two-parallel-plate geometry with a fixed upper plate and a moving lower substrate to reproducibly create highly ordered structures over large areas composed of functional nanocrystals (i.e., quantum dots and quantum rods) and diblock copolymers. Luminescent nanocrystals with precisely controllable size, shape, and surface characteristics will be synthesized. Subsequently, hierarchically ordered structures composed of nanocrystals over large areas will be obtained via the synergy between FESA at the microscopic scale and spontaneous self-assembly at the nanoscale. A theoretical model of the process will be developed and used as a guide for optimizing the process.
Knowledge generated in this project may lead to the creation and development of intriguing nanodevices and materials for use in microelectronics, optoelectronics, sensors, and biotechnology. The project will also offer summer research opportunities for high school teachers in addition to providing research training to undergraduate and graduate students.