"NANOSCALE: parts get binding aid to self-assembly"
Nanoscale particles that are easy to manufacture piecemeal � but hard to assemble � may benefit from a new "sticky patch" technology that researchers at the University of Michigan say enables nanoscale self-assembly. "By mimicking biological assembly, we are exploring ways to nanoengineer materials that are self-assembling, self-sensing, self-healing and self-regulating," said Sharon Glotzer, an associate professor of chemical engineering on the Ann Arbor campus. The researchers' method � using sticky patches that enable parts to put themselves together in programmable ways � could help fabricate new nanoscale materials and devices. In computer simulation, Glotzer and research fellow Zhenli Zhang showed how to self-assemble nanoparticles into wires, sheets, shells and other even more-complex structures.