Self-Assembly of Polymer-Grafted Nanocrystals via Solvent Annealing (Ruiz - Western Digital)


“Self-Assembly of Polymer-Grafted Nanocrystals via Solvent Annealing”

Dr. Ricardo Ruiz
Western Digital Corporation

Please note: An earlier version of this web page indicated an incorrect date for this event. The correct date is Monday, May 22, 2017.


Nanocrystal superlattices are attractive as building blocks for artificial solids in a wide range of applications including optical, electronic, photovoltaic, thermoelectric and biocompatible devices to name a few. A common challenge to commercialize superlattice-based devices is the difficulty associated in controlling the self-assembly over wafer-scales with monolayer thickness control. Most commonly, nanocrystal superlattices are self-assembled through kinetically-driven methods such as solvent drying mediated assembly, or through complex liquid interfaces that are not compatible with large area, high volume manufacturing. Polymer-grafted nanocrystals (PGNCs) in controlled solvent atmospheres (solvent annealed) are particularly attractive because of their dual colloidal and polymeric properties that facilitate self-assembly towards thermodynamic equilibrium. PGNCs share properties with star polymers, and when the inorganic cores are sufficiently screened by the polymer ligands, their thermodynamic properties can be understood in terms of the Daoud-Cotton model developed for star polymers. In this work we study the assembling properties of Fe3O4 nanocrystals tethered with polystyrene ligands. We confirm swelling and assembly properties according to the Daoud-Cotton model. As predicted for star polymers, we confirm a phase transition as a function of particle density into a hexatic phase. We exploit the polymeric properties of PGNCs to perform directed self-assembly to achieve orientation control over large areas. Overall, the polymeric and colloidal duality of PGNCs open interesting opportunities for the self-assembly of superlattices with an ease of processing typical of polymer films.

Speaker Background

Ricardo Ruiz is a research technologist at Western Digital Corp. His research interests span alternative nanofabrication techniques for storage and memory devices, block copolymer lithography and colloidal self-assembly. From 2013 to 2016 he managed a Nanopatterning and Self Assembly group at HGST dedicated to block copolymer and colloidal lithography. Prior to that, he was a research staff member at HGST where he helped introducing block copolymer lithography for magnetic bit patterned media technology. Before joining HGST, he was a postdoctoral scientist at IBM T.J. Watson. He received his PhD in Physics from Vanderbilt University in 2003. He has co-authored over 50 publications and holds 35 US Patents. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and was the recipient of the 2016 ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces Young Investigator Award.


Monday, May 22, 2017


Michael’s at Shoreline
2960 N Shoreline Blvd
Mountain View, CA



6 PM social hour
7 PM dinner
8 PM lecture


Employed/postdoc Student/unemployed/retired
Early Registration  $30 $15
Registration $35 $20
Walk-in (not guaranteed) $40 $25

Lecture-only is free.



We accept cash or checks at the door, or online payment via credit card. No-shows are responsible for full payment of registration fee.


Please register below or contact:

Len Radzilowski
phone: 650-361-3264

Deadline for registration:

11:59PM, Monday, May 15 for early registration discount.
5:00PM, Friday, May 19 for regular registration.

Dinner Selection:

Seafood - Broiled salmon with lemon beurre blanc
Chicken - Chicken marsala
Vegetarian - Eggplant parmagiana

You should receive confirmation of your registration; if not, please contact us again.

We are sorry but registration for this event is now closed.

Please contact us if you would like to know if spaces are still available.