Hierarchical hybrid materials for robust and reusable functional devices

Conference Dates

November 10-14, 2019


Nano-scale solids are known to offer significant advantages related to surface activity and quantum control, but their incorporation in engineering devices is often limited by challenges realted to handling, storage and assembly combined with environmental proliferation risks. Many natural living systems address these challenges through elegant multi-scale hierarchical designs such as microvilli and dendrites, where a larger substrate is covalently anchored to progressively smaller functional entities. This type of architecture offers exceptionally high levels of solid-fluid interaction in very compact space for important functions such as load distribution, digestion, electrochemical exchange, and sensory behavior. However, this design has been traditionally avoided in engineered devices due to the complexities of creating primary bonds across components having different sizes, shapes and compositions to form a single continuous solid. In recent years, advances in surface science and nanoscale processing have made it possible for our team to fabricate these types of materials, which provide very significant advantages over conventional solids.

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