Away from the covalent and ionic interactions that hold molecules and solids together is the world of fragile objects - folded polymers, membranes, surface adsorption and stable molecular aggregates - held together by weak forces such as van der Waals and the hydrophobic effect. The use of molecules rather than atoms as building blocks means that there are an enormous number of possibilities for stable aggregates with interesting chemical, physical and biological properties, many of which still wait to be explored. In this course we will examine the molecular interactions that drive self assembly and the consequences of these interactions in supramolecular assembly, lipid membrane formations and properties, microemulsions, polymer conformation and dynamics and range of fundamental surface properties including adhesion, wetting and colloidal stability.
Two 1-hour lectures per week and two 4-hour practicals per week for half of semester.
Assignment, prac reports and oral, final examination (100%)
(CHEM2401 or CHEM2911 or CHEM2915) and (CHEM2402 or CHEM2912 or CHEM2916)Prohibitions