Nanostructure Developed by Guided Self Assembly (Gsa) Using External Field

Project Details


Molecular Self Assembly into numerous ordered nano structure usually suffered from temperature fluctuation, impurity, and uneven molecular weight, that leads to defects and lacks long range ordered nanostructure. External Field guided self assembly (GSA) provide addition driving force to induce molecular self assembly which ensure the formation of longer ranged order domains registered on selected spatial region. This highly versatile technique created wide range and variation of ordered morphology that is promised to deliver superior physical properties and to meet the needs for many new applications that are not reachable from conventional method. This proposal focuses on the application of this technique in the preparation of energy and environment related membrane. Due to the ordered membrane morphology, ion conductivity and fuel permeation can be decoupled. This ability to decouple properties that are highly entangled based on conventional science, is extremely valuable for the discovery of new membrane for fuel cell, for solid polymer electrolytes for lithium battery and for dye sensitized solar cells. For separation membrane applied in environmental purpose, preferentially ordered structure delivered enhanced separation characteristics. The guided self assembly method is promises to solve ion conductivity, high mechanical strength and low fuel permeability issues, simultaneously, The first part of the research is dedicated first to the building up of the three D external field poling devices, followed by the study of the development of ordered self assembly nano structure under numerous different poling conductions are examined. Finally, a revised molecular assembly theory would be developed, especially for block-copolymer systems with consideration given to address the effect of the external fields. Protocols are developed to prepare membrane with optimized morphology tailor-made for ion exchange, and molecular separation purposes. The second part of the proposal is focused on the understanding of the relationships of these unique physical properties with the evolution of long range ordered morphology and micro-structure. This is followed by devising tools and measurements to understand the dynamic and transport behaviors of the imbedded electrolyte or gas molecules within these ordered membrane materials. Apart from conventional morphology tool, such as micro-tome TEM, small angle X-ray diffractions, and polarized light microscope, we will explore the molecular dynamics through measuring relaxation time, diffusion constant, and permeation improvements brought about by the field poled membrane materials. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques for materials are used to study the diffusion tensor (DTI) and its distribution of fluid component within these oriented membrane material. This study would provide further in-depth understanding of the collective diffusion behavior and their flow anisotropy created by the electric field poling on the membrane. The third part of the study, will focuses on the preparation of the advanced membrane materials based on the methods developed for guided molecular self assembly. The enhancements are demonstrated fuel cell, lithium battery or solar cells; and the preparation of gas separation
Effective start/end date1/08/1631/07/17

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


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