Figure 1
APS/Joan Tycko

Figure 1: Self-assembling components, such as molecules or nanoparticles, have the potential to form materials with applications in nanotechnology and biology. Unfortunately, even under mild nonequilibrium conditions, mixtures of two components may not form a compositionally ordered structure because of kinetic traps. Reinhardt and Frenkel’s work shows that components of about 1000 distinct types can avoid such kinetic traps, if component-type interactions are chosen correctly.