UW NanoScience Lab
Our research is highly motivated by the multifarious possibilities constraints offer on the molecular and nanoscale. They are known to affect overall material responses and transport properties. Consequently, our research in Nanotechnology is highly interdisciplinary. The challenge with interdisciplinarity is the possible loss or the lack of an identity, if no effective classification scheme is established.
Table 5-1 contrasts two frequently made classification attempts with a third scheme that evolved in the course of our research. The first two perspectives on materials and manufacturing do not provide a coherent basis and result in a laundry list of topics. In response to the demand of a fundamental classification scheme for Nanotechnology, our research is motivated by a third scheme that is based on constraints.
From a science perspective, we have recognized constraints to provide the most effective characteristics of Nanotechnology. It offers a subdivision that is tight to fundamental aspects in Thermodynamics, Statistical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics, and Transport Phenomena (including also electronic transport).
Referring to our summary of research activities, in which we take both an internal and external perspective of our research involving molecular mobility, we have investigated
- inter- and intramolecular constraints in organic systems with enhanced rotational degrees of freedom (see 1.1 and 4.1.2) and stiff and conductive backbones (see 4.1.1), polymers with dissociation groups in aqueous solutions (see 4.2.1), and highly translationally mobile and linked molecular systems (see 1.3).
Furthermore, we explored
- interfacial and dimensional constraints in terms of cooperativity (see 1.2), critical transitions and instabilities (see 2.2 and 2.1.1), entropic cooling (see 2.3 and 3.3), free volume (see 4.2.2), and finite size (see 2.1.2).
Our research has tight constraints to reaction kinetics (see 3.4) and transport phenomena, such as energy dissipation (see 3.1 and 3.2), photonic and electronic transport (see 4.1.1 and 4.1.2), mass transport (4.2.1 and 4.2.2), and momentum transport (see 2.1.1, 3.4, and 4.3). A fundamental understanding of materials and transport properties on the submolecular and molecular scale has finally provided us with a cognitive approach towards engineering that is based on molecular and nanoscale principles.
Table 5-1: Three Classification Schemes of Nanotechnology based on Perspective