MSE Seminar Series: Oleg Gang (Columbia)

Programmable Nanoscale Materials

Integrating functional nanocomponents into complex engineered architectures is required to enable novel functions for applications in photonics, biomaterials, computing, mechanics, and sensing. The current top-down fabrication methods are limited in their ability to create designed 3D nanostructures and incorporate nanocomponents in a defined manner. Conversely, self-assembly has uncovered the exciting richness of spontaneously forming structures, but bottom-up methods typically do not provide designability for achieving a specifically prescribed material structure.

The talk will discuss the advances of DNA-programmable self-assembly methods developed in our lab for creating large-scale and finite-size nano-architectures from diverse inorganic and biomolecular nanocomponents with a prescribed organization at different scales. The exploration of assembly design principles and the experimental development of diverse periodic and hierarchical organizations from inorganic nanoparticles and proteins across the scales will be discussed. The combination of equilibrium and non-equilibrium assembly approaches for gaining control over multiple scales will be presented. The established assembly approaches and nanoscale inorganic templating allow for the fabrication of functional nanomaterials with nano-optical, electrical, mechanical, and biochemical functions; examples of these efforts will be illustrated. Finally, the progress on establishing nanomaterials with prescribed reconfigurable states will be discussed.

Oleg Gang explores the behavior of soft and biomolecular systems and develops novel nanomaterial fabrication strategies based on self-organization. His research interests cover nanoparticle assembly and functionality, polymers and biopolymers, hybrid systems built from bioderived and nanoscale components, liquids, and colloidal phenomena. To probe materials in relevant environments, in action and in 3D, Gang uses a broad range of methods, including synchrotron techniques and nanoscale imaging. Gang actively develops novel strategies for creating designed nanoscale architectures through programmable self-assembly, where biomolecules, polymers and external fields guide a system formation and transformation. The main objective of the research program is to enable autonomous material systems that exhibit designed spatial organization, pathway programmable behavior, and can be dynamically controlled. The developed methods are used to create new materials with targeted optical, mechanical and biomedical functions.

Gang earned M.S. and Ph.D. (2000) from Bar-Ilan University (Israel), specializing in Atomic Spectroscopy and Soft Matter, respectively. As a postdoctoral Distinguished Rothschild Fellow at Harvard University, he studied nanoscale wetting phenomena and structure of liquid interfaces. Gang has started at Brookhaven National Laboratory as a Distinguished Goldhaber Fellow in 2002, rising through the ranks to lead the Soft and Bio-Nanomaterials group at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials from 2008. In 2016, Gang has joined Columbia University as a Professor of Chemical Engineering, and of Applied Physics and Materials Science.

Gang has received numerous awards and recognitions, including University President Award and Wolf Foundation scholarship for his PhD work, Rothschild and Goldhaber fellowships, Department of Energy Outstanding Mentor Award, Gordon Battelle Prize for Scientific Discovery, has been named Battelle Inventor of the Year, and he is a Fellow of American Physical Society.

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