Structure and Dynamics of Supra-Molecule Assembly Guided by External Applied Fields

Project Details


Natural Molecular Self Assembly into numerous ordered nano structure usually sufferedfrom temperature fluctuation, impurity, and uneven molecular weight distribution, that leads todefects and faults in long range ordered nanostructure. External Field guided self assembly(GSA) provide the driving force to induce assembly which ensure the establishment of longerranged order domains on selected spatial region. This highly versatile technique has thepotential to create wide range of structure and ordered morphology that promises superiorphysical properties to meet the needs for many new applications that are not reachable fromconventional method. This method also paves the foundation for future semicondunctormanufacturing.The proposal focuses on the application of this technique in the preparation of energyand environment related membrane. Due to the ordered membrane morphology, ionconductivity and fuel permeation can be decoupled. This ability to decouple properties thatare highly entangled based on conventional science, is extremely valuable for the discovery ofnew membrane for fuel cell, for solid polymer electrolytes for lithium battery and for dyesensitized solar cells. For separation membrane applied in environmental purpose,preferentially ordered structure delivered enhanced separation characteristics. The guidedself assembly method is promises to solve ion conductivity, high mechanical strength and lowfuel permeability issues, simultaneously,The first part of the research is dedicated to the building up of the three D external fieldpoling devices, followed by the understanding of the dynamics and the development of selfassembling structure under different poling conductions. Fundamental assembly theory couldbe developed, with consideration given to the effect of the external fields. Preparationprotocols are developed to prepare optimized morphology tailor-made for specific purpose,such as ion exchange, and molecular separation purposes.The second part of the proposal is focused on the understanding of the relationships ofthese superb physical properties with the evolution of long range ordered morphology andmicro-structure. Apart from conventional morphology tool, such as micro-tome TEM, smallangle X-ray diffractions, and polarized light microscope, we will explore the moleculardynamics through measuring relaxation time, diffusion constant, and permeationimprovements brought about by the field poled membrane materials, we have employedMagnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques for materials are used to study the diffusiontensor (DTI) and its distribution of fluid component within these oriented membrane material.This study would provide further in-depth understanding of the collective diffusion behaviorand 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 functionalmaterials based on guided molecular self assembly. The applicability of the approach aredemonstrated in fuel cell, lithium battery or solar cells; and the preparation of gas separationmembrane materials widely used for CO2 and H2 purification, and for desalination.
Effective start/end date1/08/1731/07/18

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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