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Research Abstracts Online
January 2010 - March 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Science and Engineering
Department of Chemistry

PI: Andreas Stein

Simulation Studies of Surfactant Assemblies Within the Confinement of Colloidal Crystals

Applications that involve host-guest interactions benefit substantially from the development of porous substrates. A combination of colloidal crystals and surfactants as templates provides a general means for producing hierarchically porous materials: macropores are templated from colloidal spheres and secondary mesopores on the macropore walls are formed by surfactant. In this regard, the arrangement of surfactant molecules within the confinement of colloidal crystals affects the architecture of the porous materials. A synthetic approach developed in the Stein research group revealed that columnar mesopores can either run parallel to or nearly perpendicular to the spherical interfaces. The purpose of this project was to use computational methods to correlate the spatial relationship with surfactant-colloidal crystal interactions.

Group Member

Fan Li, Graduate Student