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Title: Communication: Theoretical prediction of free-energy landscapes for complex self-assembly

We present a technique for calculating free-energy profiles for the nucleation of multicomponent structures that contain as many species as building blocks. We find that a key factor is the topology of the graph describing the connectivity of the target assembly. By considering the designed interactions separately from weaker, incidental interactions, our approach yields predictions for the equilibrium yield and nucleation barriers. These predictions are in good agreement with corresponding Monte Carlo simulations. We show that a few fundamental properties of the connectivity graph determine the most prominent features of the assembly thermodynamics. Surprisingly, we find that polydispersity in the strengths of the designed interactions stabilizes intermediate structures and can be used to sculpt the free-energy landscape for self-assembly. Finally, we demonstrate that weak incidental interactions can preclude assembly at equilibrium due to the combinatorial possibilities for incorrect association.
Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Lensfield Road, Cambridge CB2 1EW (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22415815
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 142; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; COMPLEXES; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; DIAGRAMS; FREE ENERGY; GRAPH THEORY; INTERMEDIATE STRUCTURE; MONTE CARLO METHOD; NUCLEATION; THERMODYNAMICS