||Molecular association in solution, involving self-assembly, precipitation, complex formation etc., is a fundamental process in many areas, ranging from biology to materials science. Resulting structures, being equilibrium states or kinetically trapped, often occur on the colloidal or “nano” length scale, one nanometer to one micrometer. These resulting colloidal or nanostructures are direct consequences of intermolecular interactions on the shorter, molecular length scale. Hence to understand such systems requires characterization on a wide range of length and time scales, often using a combination of several experimental techniques and computer simulation. This involves also macroscopic length scales, on which very complex viscoelastic flow behavior often can be observed.
Self-assembled nanostructured materials are ubiquitous in a wide range of industries, covering areas such as drug delivery, home & personal care, nanotechnology, foods, coatings etc. For the synthesis of many novel nano-materials self-assembly or controlled precipitation is of fundamental importance. It has been generally recognized that large scale fabrication of such materials cannot be done top-down. They have to be built from bottom-up.
The basic laws of nature, on the molecular length scale are known. What then characterizes contemporary science is the ability to analyze more and more complex systems, driven by access to a steadily increasing computational power and the development of new and sophisticated experimental tools. As a consequence, physics and physical chemistry are expanding into life science, creating new exciting areas like biological physics and colloidal biology.
In this conference, the fourth in the ECI Association in Solution series, we aim to bring together scientists from physics, chemistry, biology and engineering to discuss recent advances in the area of self-assembled and related systems. The conference cuts across key, emerging areas in the biological, chemical, physical sciences along with nano- and micro-scale engineering. The topic is central to many major industries including food, cosmetics and consumer products, pharmaceuticals and energy, e.g., oil and gas production.