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What is self-assembly?

This is an image of the self-assembly process

Self-assembly encompasses phenomena whereby small chemical units are introduced into an environment, reach an equilibrium state, and produce much larger-scale structures and patterns. Self-assembly strongly mimics natural mechanisms that form stable and complex architectures from simple building blocks.

Common examples of self-assembled chemical structures include liquid crystals, self-assembled monolayers, organization of lipids into micelles and membrane vesicles, block copolymer microphase separation, and polymers adsorbed onto surfaces in layers and multilayers.


Federico Rosei being awarded the Rutherford medal

Congratulation to Federico Rosei, Department of Energy, Materials and Telecommunications, Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique for The Rutherford Memorial Medal in Chemistry for outstanding research in chemistry.

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Julian Zhu at the University of Montreal have devised a chemical method to make degradable elastomers-polymers with elastic properties-using bile acid.

Read more on the possible applications on page 3 (French).

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The CSACS is proud and delighted to announce that Prof. Yue Zhao had received the very first Public Award “Discovery of the year 2005” given by the magazine Quebec Science. The prize, which was chosen among the 10 discoveries of the year 2005 in all the universities and research centers of Quebec, illustrates the leadership and vitality of CSACS Centre. Prof. Zhao designed a light-dissociable polymer micelle that can release active agents such as drugs upon light exposure.

In October 2005 MRS Bulletin published a theme issue on self-assembly. On the cover page of the October Edition (see picture on the left) we can notice the illustration of self-assembly that was designed by Antonella Badia.

We also want to thank MRS Bulletin for mentioning the FQRNT Centre for Self-Assembled Chemical Structures in Quebec, Canada.