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  1. Atomic force microscope
  2. Atomic nanoscope
  3. Atom probe
  4. Ballistic conduction
  5. Bingel reaction
  6. Biomimetic
  7. Bio-nano generator
  8. Bionanotechnology
  9. Break junction
  10. Brownian motor
  11. Bulk micromachining
  12. Cantilever
  13. Carbon nanotube
  14. Carbyne
  15. CeNTech
  16. Chemical Compound Microarray
  17. Cluster
  18. Colloid
  19. Comb drive
  20. Computronium
  21. Coulomb blockade
  22. Diamondoids
  23. Dielectrophoresis
  24. Dip Pen Nanolithography
  25. DNA machine
  26. Ecophagy
  27. Electrochemical scanning tunneling microscope
  28. Electron beam lithography
  29. Electrospinning
  30. Engines of Creation
  31. Exponential assembly
  32. Femtotechnology
  33. Fermi point
  34. Fluctuation dissipation theorem
  35. Fluorescence interference contrast microscopy
  36. Fullerene
  37. Fungimol
  38. Gas cluster ion beam
  39. Grey goo
  40. Hacking Matter
  41. History of nanotechnology
  42. Hydrogen microsensor
  43. Inorganic nanotube
  44. Ion-beam sculpting
  45. Kelvin probe force microscope
  46. Lab-on-a-chip
  47. Langmuir-Blodgett film
  48. LifeChips
  49. List of nanoengineering topics
  50. List of nanotechnology applications
  51. List of nanotechnology topics
  52. Lotus effect
  53. Magnetic force microscope
  54. Magnetic resonance force microscopy
  55. Mechanochemistry
  56. Mechanosynthesis
  57. MEMS thermal actuator
  58. Mesotechnology
  59. Micro Contact Printing
  60. Microelectromechanical systems
  61. Microfluidics
  62. Micromachinery
  63. Molecular assembler
  64. Molecular engineering
  65. Molecular logic gate
  66. Molecular manufacturing
  67. Molecular motors
  68. Molecular recognition
  69. Molecule
  70. Nano-abacus
  71. Nanoart
  72. Nanobiotechnology
  73. Nanocar
  74. Nanochemistry
  75. Nanocomputer
  76. Nanocrystal
  77. Nanocrystalline silicon
  78. Nanocrystal solar cell
  79. Nanoelectrochemistry
  80. Nanoelectrode
  81. Nanoelectromechanical systems
  82. Nanoelectronics
  83. Nano-emissive display
  84. Nanoengineering
  85. Nanoethics
  86. Nanofactory
  87. Nanoimprint lithography
  88. Nanoionics
  89. Nanolithography
  90. Nanomanufacturing
  91. Nanomaterial based catalyst
  92. Nanomedicine
  93. Nanomorph
  94. Nanomotor
  95. Nano-optics
  96. Nanoparticle
  97. Nanoparticle tracking analysis
  98. Nanophotonics
  99. Nanopore
  100. Nanoprobe
  101. Nanoring
  102. Nanorobot
  103. Nanorod
  104. Nanoscale
  105. Nano-Science Center
  106. Nanosensor
  107. Nanoshell
  108. Nanosight
  109. Nanosocialism
  110. Nanostructure
  111. Nanotechnology
  112. Nanotechnology education
  113. Nanotechnology in fiction
  114. Nanotoxicity
  115. Nanotube
  116. Nanovid microscopy
  117. Nanowire
  118. National Nanotechnology Initiative
  119. Neowater
  120. Niemeyer-Dolan technique
  121. Ormosil
  122. Photolithography
  123. Picotechnology
  124. Programmable matter
  125. Quantum dot
  126. Quantum heterostructure
  127. Quantum point contact
  128. Quantum solvent
  129. Quantum well
  130. Quantum wire
  131. Richard Feynman
  132. Royal Society's nanotech report
  133. Scanning gate microscopy
  134. Scanning probe lithography
  135. Scanning probe microscopy
  136. Scanning tunneling microscope
  137. Scanning voltage microscopy
  138. Self-assembled monolayer
  139. Self-assembly
  140. Self reconfigurable
  141. Self-Reconfiguring Modular Robotics
  142. Self-replication
  143. Smart dust
  144. Smart material
  145. Soft lithography
  146. Spent nuclear fuel
  147. Spin polarized scanning tunneling microscopy
  148. Stone Wales defect
  149. Supramolecular assembly
  150. Supramolecular chemistry
  151. Supramolecular electronics
  152. Surface micromachining
  153. Surface plasmon resonance
  154. Synthetic molecular motors
  155. Synthetic setae
  156. Tapping AFM
  157. There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom
  158. Transfersome
  159. Utility fog


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Self-assembly is the fundamental principle which generates structural organization on all scales from molecules to galaxies. It is defined as reversible processes in which pre-existing parts or disordered components of a preexisting system form structures of patterns. Self-assembly can be classified as either static or dynamic. Static self-assembly is when the ordered state occurs when the system is in equilibrium and does not dissipate energy. Dynamic self-assembly is when the ordered state requires dissipation of energy. Examples of self-assembling system include weather patterns, solar systems, histogenesis and self-assembled monolayers. The most well-studied subfield of self-assembly is molecular self-assembly, but in recent years it has been demonstrated that self-assembly is possible with micro and millimeterscale structures lying in the interface between two liquids.

Molecular self-assembly

Molecular self-assembly is the assembly of molecules without guidance or management from an outside source. There are two types of self-assembly, intramolecular self-assembly and intermolecular self-assembly, although in some books and articles the term self-assembly refers only to intermolecular self-assembly. Intramolecular self-assembling molecules are often complex polymers with the ability to assemble from the random coil conformation into a well-defined stable structure (secondary and tertiary structure). An example of intramolecular self-assembly is protein folding. Intermolecular self-assembly is the ability of molecules to form supramolecular assemblies (quarternary structure). A simple example is the formation of a micelle by surfactant molecules in solution.

Self-assembly can occur spontaneously in nature, for example in cells (such as the self-assembly of the lipid bilayer membrane) and other biological systems, as well as in human engineered systems such as a Langmuir monolayer. It usually results in the increase in internal organization of the system. Biological self-assembling systems, including synthetically engineered self-assembling peptides and other biomaterials, have been shown to have superior handling, biocompatibility and functionality. These advantages are due directly to self-assembly from biocompatible precursors creating biomaterials engineered at the nano-scale.

Also, self-assembly is a manufacturing method used to construct things at the microscale, which is comprised of structures with at least one dimension that is less than 100microns. Many biological systems use self-assembly to assemble various molecules and structures. Imitating these strategies and creating novel molecules with the ability to self-assemble into supramolecular assemblies is an important technique in nanotechnology. In self-assembly the final (desired) structure is 'encoded' in the shape and properties of the molecules that are used, as compared to traditional techniques, such as lithography, where the desired final structure must be carved out from a larger block of matter. Self-assembly is thus referred to as a 'bottom-up' manufacturing technique, as compared to lithography being a 'top-down' technique. The synthesis of molecules for self-assembly often involves a chemical process called convergent synthesis. Microchips of the future might be made by molecular self-assembly. An example of self-assembly in nature is the way that hydrophilic and hydrophobic interactions cause cell membranes to self assemble.

See also

  • Self-organization
  • Nanotechnology
  • Langmuir-Blodgett film
  • Autopoiesis
  • Molecular recognition

External links and further reading

  • Freeview Video 'Self-Assembly: Nature's Way To Do It' by Kuniaki Nagayama, A Royal Institution Lecture by the Vega Science Trust.
  • Molecular Self-Assembly papers
  • Beyond molecules: Self-assembly of mesoscopic and macroscopic components
  • Whitesides, G. M. & Grzyboski, B. (2002) Science 295, 2418-2421.
  • Rothemund PWK, Papadakis N, Winfree E (2004) Algorithmic Self-Assembly of DNA Sierpinski Triangles. PLoS Biol 2(12)
  • C2 Wiki: Self Assembly from a computer programming perspective.
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