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Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience: Nanomaterials under Stress - A New Opportunity for Nanomaterials Synthesis and Engineering 
April 6, 2015   7:00pm - 8:00pm

Precise control of structural parameters through nanoscale engineering to improve optical and electronic properties of functional nanomaterials continuously remains an outstanding challenge. Previous work has been conducted largely at ambient pressure and relies on specific chemical or physical interactions such as van der Waals interactions, dipole-dipole interactions, chemical reactions, ligand-receptor interactions, etc. In this presentation, I introduced a new Stress-Induced Fabrication method that uses mechanical compressive force applied to nanoparticles to induce structural phase transition and to consolidate new nanomaterials with precisely controlled structures and tunable properties. By manipulating nanoparticle coupling through external pressure, instead of through chemistry, a reversible change in their assemblies and properties can be achieved and demonstrated. In addition, over a certain threshold, the external pressure will force these nanoparticles into contact, thereby allowing the formation and consolidation of one- to three-dimensional nanostructures. Through stress-induced nanoparticle assembly, materials engineering and synthesis become remarkably flexible without relying on a traditional crystallization process where atoms/ions are locked in a specific crystal structure. Therefore, morphology or architecture can be readily tuned to produce desirable properties for practical applications.

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