Random energy model of self-assembly


Self-assembly is a potentially important method for nanoscale manufacturing. In any self-assembly, however, randomness competes with the design to produce unforeseen artifacts. In this paper, the design of the self-assembly is embedded in randomness, which is modeled as additive Gaussian noise. The random energy model of disordered systems is applied to describe self-assembly phenomenologically. From the model, an energy gap between the design and random configuration is necessary in order for the system not to become trapped in unplanned states. This gap represents a phase transition for the design to be achievable, and depends upon the size of the system and the variance of the noise. An analogy is drawn with the energy landscape view of protein folding, which prescribes a funnel-shaped energy landscape for good assembly.© 2006 by ScienceTechnica, Inc.

Publication Title

3rd Conference on Foundations of Nanoscience: Self-Assembled Architectures and Devices, FNANO 2006

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