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Feasible self-assembly models (R-4823)

Self-assembly is the process in which intricate structures are obtained by spontaneous assembly of smaller building blocks. Self-assembly is present in a wide range of processes, and appears at various scales in nature. For example, the spontaneous formation of a molecular crystal and even the development of a sin- gle cell to a full-grown multicellular organism may be seen as (highly-involved) self-assembly processes. Self-assembly techniques are fundamental for the de- velopment of nanotechnology. The computing potential of self-assembly has recently been considered and partially experimentally verified. While there are self-assembly models avail- able, their computational power is often too large to be either physically implementable or successfully analyzable. Therefore, I aim to consider distinctly less powerful models, which enjoy other attractive properties. This landscape of attractive properties for self-assembly has currently been only scarcely explored. This project will uncover the fundamental computational features of self-assembly, and provide a natural unifying hierarchy of computational self-assembly models, containing representatives of each "sweet spot" in the above landscape. This, e.g., allows designers of artificial self-assembly processes to make informed decisions about which features to incorporate in order to derive enough computational power while maintaining sufficient analyzability.
Date:1 Oct 2013  →  30 Sep 2016
Keywords:Self-assembly model
Disciplines:Applied mathematics in specific fields