Creation of an optimal annealing schedule for self-assembly

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Date

2009

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Powell, C. Travis

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Abstract

The goal of the research was to develop a temperature versus time schedule to make the process of self-assembly occur in an optimal manner. Self-assembly is any process in which a system becomes more ordered without pervasive outside interference. In order to create a temperature versus time schedule, or annealing schedule, a particular system needed to be considered. The system used was reported by Grzybowski et al. [1]. The system is at the macroscopic level and consisted of spheres of equal and opposite charge. When perturbed the system would form a square lattice in two dimensions. This system was the model system used for the project of optimizing self-assembly. It was chosen for its relative simplicity and ease in modeling. In order to make the model more computationally tractable simplifications were made to the system. An assumption about the rate of self-assembly was made and justified. This assumption along with system information produced the optimal schedule when classical control theory was applied. The schedule created outperformed other common annealing schedules.

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