Directed self-assembly of end-functionalized nanofibers: from percolated networks to liquid crystal-like phases
B Xie and MJ Buehler and ZP Xu, NANOTECHNOLOGY, 26, 205602 (2015).
We explore the directed self-assembly (DSA) process of end- functionalized nanofibers (NFs) by performing coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations. We find that by tuning their interactions, NFs aggregate and self-organize into networks with specific topologies ranging from percolated networks to liquid crystal-like long-chain phases. The underlying mechanism is explained through an analytical model from a minimum energy perspective. In addition to offering microscopic understandings of the DSA process, the findings reported here can also guide robust target-specified design of nanofibrous materials into organized network structures.
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