To study and understand the aggregation, nucleation and/or non-covalent synthesis of organic and hybrid materials is of crucial importance for many disciplines ranging from biology to nanotechnology scenarios. For example, in nanotechnology, nano- and micro-sized materials with functions determined at the molecular level require an effective and well-defined pattern to assemble and organize in order to potentially improve their performance. In this context, our group develops new microfluidic devices that mimic the effect of microgravity in space experimentation to study, understand and control the self-assembly of different functional matter. It has been demonstrated on space shuttle missions that microgravity is key to achieve crystals with unconventional shapes and large-scale order in materials that cannot be crystallized on Earth.

Keywords

      Microgravity;   Reaction-Difussion (RD) conditions;   Convection-free mass transport