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Advanced Colloids Experiments (ACE)
 


Objective:

To remove gravitational jamming and sedimentation so that it is possible to observe how order arises out of disorder and to learn to control this process. Small colloidal particles can be used to model atomic systems and to engineer new systems. Colloids are big enough (in comparison to atoms) to be seen and big enough that their evolution can be recorded with a camera. With a confocal microscope, templates, and grids, we can observe this process in 3-d and learn to control it.

Relevance/Impact:

  • Being able to see and control how structures form is important. Colloidal engineering is now possible. (Weitz, Harvard)
  • The technology now exists to create lock-and-key reactions with the possibility of creating self-replicating non-biological structures from nanoscale building blocks using colloidal self-assembly. (Chaikin, NYU)
  • With temperature sensitive polymers and microgels, the processes of melting and crystallization can be observed in 3-d at the level of the individual particles with these model “atomic” systems. (Yodh, Penn)
  • This work will be done in collaboration with the European scientists (PIs) listed above.

Development Approach:

  • The Advanced LMM-Colloids flight experiment will use the existing Light Microscopy Module (LMM) hardware in the Fluids Integrated Rack (FIR) aboard the International Space Station (ISS), along with a confocal microscope head and controlled sample platens. A new electronics box is planned for sample manipulation and control.
  • The Advanced LMM-Colloids experiment is designed for autonomous operation through scripts and ground-based commanding. Crew time is required for the initial installation and check out in the FIR, sample change out, and removal from the FIR.
  • Received drafts of significant sections of SRD for review in Preparation for SCR in February 2009.
  • Developing plan for preliminary-ACE (PACE) 2012 test of high resolution (above 50x) capabilities using (LMM) workhorse sample cell and oil test target, and possibly specialty sample cells.

 

 

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ACE Overview Chart

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Chaikin: Order and
patterns

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Advanced Colloids (LMM) workhorse sample cell. Microscope version of BCAT sample cells.

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Weitz: Colloidal
engineering

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Yodh: Melting and
crystallization

 

 

Principal Investigators:
Paul Chaikin (NYU, US)
David Weitz (Harvard, US)
Arjun Yodh (Penn, US)
Roberto Piazza (U. Milano, I)
Luca Cipelletti (U. Montpellier, F)
WIllem Kegel (U. Utrecht, NL)
Alfons Van Blaaderen (U. Utrecht, NL)
Gerard Wegdam (U. Amsterdam, NL)
Marzio Giglio (U. Milano, I)

Project Scientist: Dr.William V. Meyer
NCSER at NASA GRC
william.v.meyer@nasa.gov
216-433-5011

Project Manager: Ronald J. Sicker, NASA GRC
Ronald.J.Sicker@nasa.gov
216-433-6498

Engineering Team: ZIN Technologies, Inc.

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PACE/ACE Related Documents
small acrobat icon   ACE Overview Chart
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