Special Issue "Thermodynamics and Entropy for Self-Assembly and Self-Organization"

A special issue of Entropy (ISSN 1099-4300). This special issue belongs to the section "Thermodynamics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Jordi Faraudo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Materials Simulation and Theory Department Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC) Campus de la UAB, E-08193 Bellaterra, Spain
Interests: soft matter theory; self-assembly theory; theory of colloidal forces; computer simulations
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

During the XXI century, the concepts of self-assembly and self-organization have flooded all branches of natural sciences, from biology to nanotechnology. Self-assembly consists in the emergence of a complex ordered organization in a thermodynamic equilibrium state starting from a disordered state. Self-assembly is widely found in nature (for example, a virus can self-assemble from its constituent elements), but also it is of great practical interest for an easy and reproducible bottom-up fabrication of materials from nanoscopic building blocks (molecules or nanoparticles). The self-assembly process requires the presence of noise (i.e., a thermal bath) and thus entropy plays an essential role. Self-organization is the formation of complex patterns and structures from a disordered state, which requires a nonequilibrium state (for example, a continuous supply of energy). Here, the rate of entropy production is a key quantity. Sometimes, similar complex structures can be obtained spontaneously from self-assembly or self-organization processes being the time scales (and maybe also the length scale) of the organization the only perceptible difference. Both processes are of key interest in science, but their quantitative prediction and understanding is still a challenge. Interestingly, thermodynamic and statistical mechanical models developed for particular problems teach us that many features involved in one system are also relevant in apparently unrelated systems (theories of surfactant self-assembly are relevant to magnetic particle self-assembly, for example). Thermodynamics in general and its central concept of entropy, in particular, emerge as key actors to quantitatively formulate and understand self-assembly and self-organization processes. I, therefore, solicit contributions to this Special Issue from the many aspects of self-assembly and self-organization from all branches of science that emphasize fundamental aspects. 

Prof. Jordi Faraudo
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Entropy is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Supramolecular and molecular self-assembly
  • Self-assembly of nanoparticles and nanosystems
  • Self-assembly models
  • Pattern formation, entropy production, and self-organization
  • Self-organization in nanosystems
  • Self-organization and nonequilibrium steady states
  • Self-organization versus self-assembly

Published Papers (3 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Article
Self-Assembly of Microscopic Rods Due to Depletion Interaction
Entropy 2020, 22(10), 1114; https://doi.org/10.3390/e22101114 - 01 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 925
Abstract
In this article, using numerical simulations we investigate the self-assembly of rod-like particles in suspension due to depletion forces which naturally emerge due to the presence of smaller spherical depletant particles. We characterize the type of clusters that are formed and the evolution [...] Read more.
In this article, using numerical simulations we investigate the self-assembly of rod-like particles in suspension due to depletion forces which naturally emerge due to the presence of smaller spherical depletant particles. We characterize the type of clusters that are formed and the evolution of aggregation departing from a random initial configuration. We show that eventually the system reaches a thermodynamic equilibrium state in which the aggregates break and reform dynamically. We investigate the equilibrium state of aggregation, which exhibits a strong dependence on depletant concentration. In addition, we provide a simple thermodynamic model inspired on the theory of self-assembly of amphiphilic molecules which allows us to understand qualitatively the equilibrium aggregate size distributions that we obtain in simulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermodynamics and Entropy for Self-Assembly and Self-Organization)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Self-Propulsion Enhances Polymerization
Entropy 2020, 22(2), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/e22020251 - 22 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1175
Abstract
Self-assembly is a spontaneous process through which macroscopic structures are formed from basic microscopic constituents (e.g., molecules or colloids). By contrast, the formation of large biological molecules inside the cell (such as proteins or nucleic acids) is a process more akin to self-organization [...] Read more.
Self-assembly is a spontaneous process through which macroscopic structures are formed from basic microscopic constituents (e.g., molecules or colloids). By contrast, the formation of large biological molecules inside the cell (such as proteins or nucleic acids) is a process more akin to self-organization than to self-assembly, as it requires a constant supply of external energy. Recent studies have tried to merge self-assembly with self-organization by analyzing the assembly of self-propelled (or active) colloid-like particles whose motion is driven by a permanent source of energy. Here we present evidence that points to the fact that self-propulsion considerably enhances the assembly of polymers: self-propelled molecules are found to assemble faster into polymer-like structures than non self-propelled ones. The average polymer length increases towards a maximum as the self-propulsion force increases. Beyond this maximum, the average polymer length decreases due to the competition between bonding energy and disruptive forces that result from collisions. The assembly of active molecules might have promoted the formation of large pre-biotic polymers that could be the precursors of the informational polymers we observe nowadays. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermodynamics and Entropy for Self-Assembly and Self-Organization)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Review
Role of Entropy in Colloidal Self-Assembly
Entropy 2020, 22(8), 877; https://doi.org/10.3390/e22080877 - 10 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1795
Abstract
Entropy plays a key role in the self-assembly of colloidal particles. Specifically, in the case of hard particles, which do not interact or overlap with each other during the process of self-assembly, the free energy is minimized due to an increase in the [...] Read more.
Entropy plays a key role in the self-assembly of colloidal particles. Specifically, in the case of hard particles, which do not interact or overlap with each other during the process of self-assembly, the free energy is minimized due to an increase in the entropy of the system. Understanding the contribution of entropy and engineering it is increasingly becoming central to modern colloidal self-assembly research, because the entropy serves as a guide to design a wide variety of self-assembled structures for many technological and biomedical applications. In this work, we highlight the importance of entropy in different theoretical and experimental self-assembly studies. We discuss the role of shape entropy and depletion interactions in colloidal self-assembly. We also highlight the effect of entropy in the formation of open and closed crystalline structures, as well as describe recent advances in engineering entropy to achieve targeted self-assembled structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermodynamics and Entropy for Self-Assembly and Self-Organization)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop