Self-Assembly of Colloidal Spheres with Specific Interactions

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Self-Assembly of Colloidal Spheres with Specific Interactions

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dc.contributor.advisor Manoharan, Vinothan N.
dc.contributor.author Collins, Jesse Wronka
dc.date.accessioned 2014-06-06T17:20:23Z
dc.date.issued 2014-06-06
dc.date.submitted 2014
dc.identifier.citation Collins, Jesse Wronka. 2014. Self-Assembly of Colloidal Spheres with Specific Interactions. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University. en_US
dc.identifier.other http://dissertations.umi.com/gsas.harvard:11485 en
dc.identifier.uri http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:12274201
dc.description.abstract In this thesis, I discuss engineering colloidal particles to have specific, isotropic interactions and studying their cluster geometries in equilibrium. I discuss light scattering experiments showing that a highly specific protein, Dscam, is unstable against thermal aggregation. This result lead me to use DNA instead to control interparticle specificity. I coated 1-micron diameter polystyrene particles uniformly with DNA. I used fluorescence microscopy with oxygen-scavenging enzymes to observe these particles self-assembling in clusters. These experiments show that a packing of 6 spheres that is rarely seen in a single-component system is observed very often in an optimized 3-species system. Then I show experiments using the same 3 species but 9 total particles, finding that the equilibrium yields of the most likely cluster relative to other stable clusters are lower than at 6 particles. I conclude from these experiments that optimizing the assembly of an otherwise unlikely configuration may require nearly as many species as particles. Finally, I investigate the scalability of self-assembly of particles with isotropic and specific interactions theoretically. I use both exact and approximate partition functions to show that spheres with specific interactions can have energy landscapes with thermodynamically large numbers of strictly local minima relative to the number of their ground states. Compared to single-component systems, these systems of many different species may spend much more time in kinetic traps and never reach their ground states. Finally, I discuss briefly some directions for further study, including questions of how the results in this thesis may be related to protein folding and complex formation. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Engineering and Applied Sciences en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dash.license LAA
dc.subject Condensed matter physics en_US
dc.subject Chemical engineering en_US
dc.subject Biophysics en_US
dc.subject clusters en_US
dc.subject colloids en_US
dc.subject energy landscapes en_US
dc.subject entropy en_US
dc.subject self-assembly en_US
dc.subject statistical mechanics en_US
dc.title Self-Assembly of Colloidal Spheres with Specific Interactions en_US
dc.type Thesis or Dissertation en_US
dash.depositing.author Collins, Jesse Wronka
dc.date.available 2014-06-06T17:20:23Z
thesis.degree.date 2014 en_US
thesis.degree.discipline Engineering and Applied Sciences en_US
thesis.degree.grantor Harvard University en_US
thesis.degree.level doctoral en_US
thesis.degree.name Ph.D. en_US
dc.contributor.committeeMember Brenner, Michael en_US
dc.contributor.committeeMember Needleman, Daniel en_US

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