Computational research on self-assembly in a micro/nano scale

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Although the demand for miniaturized products is increasing these days, existing manufacturing robots in serial production systems seem to have difficulties in producing miniature products because they have had to become increasingly larger to properly complete precise machining. Therefore, small-scale self-assembly could provide economic and efficient solutions to overcome this limitation. Also, the self-assembly of 3D structures at the micro scale could make it possible to fabricate new materials. The characteristics of different materials could be combined to produce advanced engineering materials including smart meta-materials with new possibilities.
The experimental research would be preceded to conduct research on self-assembly. Also, the lessons learned from the experimental macroscopic research could be extrapolated to the micro/nano domain. However, since the behavior of the self-assembly particles at a micro/nano scale could differ greatly from that of the macroscopic scale, the use of a numerical method to solve partial differential equations and the application of Discrete Element Method is necessary to properly analyze and interpret the behavior of small scale particles in various external conditions. To deeply understand the mechanism of crystallization processes of micro/nano particles, we have to take advantage of particle-based computational methods to simulate microstructural behavior and compare it with the results of experimental work. On the basis of the application of computational methods, the perspective to the self-assembly could be expanded to the various methods including magnetic, fluidic, electrochemical, and electrostatic ways.