Stimuli-responsive hybrid nanomaterials: spatial and temporal control of multifunctional properties
Gupta, Maneesh Kumar
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Recently, technological advancement and the promise of next-generation devices have created an overwhelming push for the continued miniaturization of active systems to the micro- and nanometer scale. In this regime, traditional mechanical systems are largely inaccessible and as a result new active or stimuli-responsive materials are required. The work presented in this dissertation provides an understanding of the responsive nature of polymer and biopolymer interfaces especially in contact with metal nanoparticles. This understanding was utilized in conjunction with top-down template-based and self-assembly fabrication strategies to create hybrid protein based films and active polymer-metal hybrids that exhibit large and well-defined modulation of mechanical and optical properties. These materials processing developments represent advancement in the current state of the art specifically in three major areas: 1. template-based top-down control of protein chain conformation, 2. high-throughput synthesis and assembly of strongly coupled plasmonic nanoparticles with modulated optical properties (both near- and far-field), 3. field-assisted assembly of highly mobile and non-close packed magnetic nanorods with capabilities for rapid actuation.