Sharon Glotzer


A177 NCRC, Building 10

T: (734) 615-6296





Molecular self-assembly on nanostructured surfaces

We have used mesoscale dissipative particle dynamics and atomistic molecular dynamics to study phase separation in immiscible bead-spring molecules grafted to virtual spheres, cylinders and the flat surface and determined that molecules with dissimilar lengths or bulkiness prefer to phase separate into alternating stripe-like domains. This work also explains the formation of “ripples” on gold nanospheres observed by an experimental group at MIT.

We are currently collaborating with this group to understand and explain how nanoscale features of a surface influence phase separation of molecules grafted on it. We have simulated a system of CH3-(CH2)3-SH and CH3-(CH2)5-SH surfactant results obtained by simulation and experiment, demonstrate excellent qualitative and quantitative agreement. Future work includes extending the work to surfaces of ellipses, tetrapods, tetrahedrons etc. and mapping the results to experimental observations to be able to predict what an actual phase diagram might look like.

C. Singh, P.K. Ghorai, M.A. Horsch, A.M. Jackson, R.G. Larson, F. Stellacci, S.C. Glotzer. Enropy-mediated patterning of surfactant-coated nanoparticles and surfaces. Physical Review Letters 99 (2007).