Self-assembled nanoscale architectures could feature improved electronic, optical, and mechanical properties

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a new way to guide the self-assembly of a wide range of novel nanoscale structures using simple polymers as starting materials. Under the electron microscope, these nanometer-scale structures look like tiny Lego building blocks, including parapets for miniature medieval castles and Roman aqueducts. But rather than building fanciful microscopic fiefdoms, the scientists are exploring how these novel shapes might affect a material’s functions.

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