Self-assembly of synthetic 3-arm polyphiles into ordered mesophases. Some thoughts.
Biophysics seminar by Professor Stephen Hyde, Dept. of Applied Mathematics, Australian National University, Canberra.
Stephen Hyde is interested in self-assembly, from molecular materials to complex systems. He was introduced to the field by Kåre Larsson - a pioneer of molecular self-assembly - and has remained at the forefront of developments in molecular self-assembly since, with international collaborations with leading groups in France, Japan, Spain, the US and Italy.
Contributions to the area of molecular self-assembly include the first accurate description of bicontinuous phases and the first accurate description of multiple bicontinuous phases in a synthetic lyotropic liquid crystal, discovery of crystalline and random hyperbolic "mesh" and "strut" phases in a variety of synthetic copolymer systems (joint with Kyoto polymer scientists), co-discovery of stable, ultra-porous molecular crystals (comprising metal coordination polymers) (joint with Michigan, Arizona chemists), synthesis of abiotic inorganic (silica-carbonate) "biomorph" materials, whose dimensions and shapes mirror the most primitive bacterial fossils (as well as supposed "fossil remnants" reported in the Martian meteorite ALH84001) (joint with a Granada geologist).
Hyde's work is based on a parallel program of fundamental geometrical studies, involving advanced topological and geometric techniques. That work has led to comprehensive mathematical derivation and descriptions of crystalline "three-periodic" minimal surfaces and discovery of generic cellular morphologies, including "polycontinuous" forms (often spontaneously chiral) and interwoven helical rod packings, that extend the canon of possible partitions of 3D euclidean space dramatically.