Strategies to Realize Precise MSA


Macroscopic building blocks normally rely on external energy such as shaking or rotation to realize their diffusion and collision for interaction, which is totally different from molecular assembly driven by molecular thermal motions. These strong interference of external energy to macroscopic building blocks will cause the problem of poor precision of assembled structures. This is because kinetically favorable assemblies may be advantageous to be formed over thermo-dynamically favorable assemblies. Most imprecise structures may amplify defects in further assembly and probably damage performance of bulk materials. Therefore, challenge to realize precise MSA remains to obtain supramolecular materials through MSA. To this end, we have developed two strategies: for systems with imprecise assemblies as kinetically favorable, we have proposed a self-correction strategy by using the stability difference of precise and imprecise structures to identify and correct imprecise assemblies; for systems possible to turn precise assemblies from kinetically unfavorable to favorable, we have developed self-propulsion strategies to enable building blocks to diffuse and collide. With active motions and interaction, the building blocks could self-adjust and assemble into ordered structures.