Self-assembly is driven mainly by the system's desire to minimize its energy and achieve equilibrium, but kinetic effects can also play a strong role. Typically, these effects are viewed as complications to be overcome, but a collaboration of researchers has recently shown that these effects can be exploited to engineer a nanostructure in a polymer thin film.
Achieving artificial photosynthesis in solution remains limited by the use of costly and toxic metal-based compounds to harvest light. Researchers propose an efficient alternative using semiconductor nanocrystals (also called quantum dots) based on cheaper and less toxic elements, such as copper, indium and sulfur.
Engineers and chemists successfully used the same technology at the core of facial recognition to design chiral crystals. This is the first study reporting the use of this technology, called logistic regression analysis, to predict which chemical groups are best for making chiral molecules.