Nanoscale Biomimetics: From Self-Assembled Nanocomposites to Chiral Nanostructures
The ability to self-assemble into complex structures unites nanoscale particles from chemistry and biology. Varying nanoscale anisotropy from high (nanoplatelets) to intermediate (dipole, Janus) and subtle (chirality), inorganic nanoparticles can produce multicomponent assemblies with sophisticated geometries and connectivity patterns. Over past three decades, the complexity of these assemblies dramatically increased from nanoscale chains and nacre-like multilayers, to left- and right-handed helices and spiky hedgehog particles. Materials made by self-assembly of nanoparticles revealed previously unattainable combinations of properties and their technological implementations are abundant. Graph theory (GT) methods are being developed to uniformly describe their hierarchical organization, enumerate their complexity, and design their properties aiming at biomimetic nanostructures serving as ultrastrong ion-selective membranes, biosimilar inorganic organelles, chiral vaccine adjuvants.