Summary: Princeton Engineering Media contact:
Teresa Riordan, (609) 258-9754
From Quonset huts to ballerinas: Scientists solve a nanotech mystery
Princeton Engineering researchers have untangled
the mystery behind a puzzling phenomenon first
observed more than a decade ago in the ultra-small
world of nanotechnology.
Why is it, researchers wondered, that tiny
aggregates of soap molecules, known as surfactant
micelles, congregate as long, low arches
resembling Quonset huts once they are placed on a
To fellow scientists and engineers, this question
and the researchers' answer is tantalizing since the
discovery gives insight into "guided self-assembly,"
an important technique in nanotechnology where
molecules arrange themselves spontaneously into