University of Illinois at Chicago
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The Art of Adamantane Self-assembly

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posted on 2011-04-13, 00:00 authored by Yong Xue
Studying this picture is not just doing research of molecules but also enjoying an art work of nature. If you are asking what the block of the interesting shape in the picture is at your first glimpse, your researching and viewing this art piece begin. What are the smaller cage-like stuffs around the big block? Yes, they are small molecules and they seem moving somewhere in the space. At the right upper corner, some molecules look like getting together but they do not have a shape as the big block does. Right, now you find the answer to your first question, the block represents the crystal structure of those molecules and the block should be three dimensional. But what shape can this block get? Cubic, sphere or pyramid? Only nature knows. What we can see is just a snapshot of some procedure. And what procedure? Aggregating or separating? …Now, you generally understand my picture from the point view of art; and scientifically, this image is from the last structure of the Molecular simulation of 216 plastic molecules Adamantane (C10H16, Carbon – yellow, Hydrogen- white) at 300K in vacuum in order to obtain a structure to study self-assembly of Adamantane. I found at 300K, a particular number of adamantane can form crystal structure (I used 216 molecules, since the structure is easy to observe by eyes and make better image in that case) in my simulation conditions, if the number is smaller, the crystal structure can not be observed, like the assembly in the right upper corner of my picture.


Publisher Statement

Entry in 2009 in The Image of Research, a competition for students in graduate or professional degree programs at UIC, sponsored by UIC's Graduate College and the University Library. Images of award recipients and honorable mention images on exhibition in the Richard J. Daley Library and the Library of the Health Sciences, April 16-May 12, 2009.

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