Ionic Assemblies: Patterns and Symmetries

Condensed Matter lunchtime seminar

Ionic Assemblies: Patterns and Symmetries

  • Event time: 1:00pm
  • Event date: 24th September 2007
  • Speaker: Monica Olvera de La Cruz (Department of Materials Science Northwestern University)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details

Controlling features of self-organized architectures of viral size and shape has eluded scientists for decades. Using electrostatic forces we are able to show the formation of ribbon-like helical (chiral) patterns on the surface of cylindrical fibers. Furthermore, through a straightforward approach we control the strength of the electrostatic interactions through the concentration of ions thereby having a mechanism to pattern the surface of virus-like fibers into chiral nanoaggregates with different pitch angles. In spheres, on the other hand, ionic assembly may lead to faceting. Shells of various viruses and other closed-packed spherical structures exhibit the highest symmetry, icosahedral symmetry. This is different from icosahedral shaped faceted structures found in large viruses, cationic-anionic vesicles, and other structures including fullerenes. The novel electrostatics driven faceting mechanism of ionic shells into icosahedral shapes breaks icosahedral symmetry due to different arrangements of the charged components amongst the facets. These shells appear in oppositely charged molecules co-assembled into membranes or adsorbed onto interfaces forming emulsions.

1. K.L. Kohlstedt, F. Solis, G. Vernizzi, and M. Olvera de la Cruz .Spontaneous Chirality via Long-Range Electrostatic Forces. Phys. Rev Lett. 99, 030602 (2007).

2. S. M. Loverde, F. J. Solis and M. Olvera de la Cruz .Charged Particles on Surfaces: Coexistence of Dilute Phases and Periodic Structures at Interfaces. Phys. Rev Lett. 98, 237802 (2007).

3. G. Vernizzi and M. Olvera de la Cruz .Faceting ionic shells into icosahedra via electrostatics. (submitted).

This is a weekly series of informal talks given primarily by members of the soft condensed matter and statistical mechanics groups, but is also open to members of other groups and external visitors. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and learning of various topics at a level suitable to the broad background of the group. Everyone is welcome to attend..

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