Self-assembly in Materials and Microrobots

Date: 2021/05/21 - 2021/05/21

Academic Seminar: Self-assembly in Materials and Microrobots

Speaker: Wendong Wang, Associate Professor, UM-SJTU Joint InstituteShanghai Jiao Tong University

Time: 10:00 am - 11:30 am, May 21, 2021, (Beijing Time)

Location: via Feishu:


Self-assembly is Nature’s way of making materials. It is also the underlying principle in the synthesis and fabrication of many artificial materials and materials systems. It is a concept that has both scientific significance and technological relevance. This talk will showcase the role of self-assembly in the diverse materials systems across different length scales, from nanometers to centimetres. I will first show template-directed self-assembly of mesoporous materials for use as insulating materials in semiconductor microprocessors. I will then show the work on the ferrofluid-infused porous surface (FLIPS), a dynamic material system capable of various functions across multiple length scales, including assembling and transporting colloids, assembling droplets, controlling droplet flows, pumping, and removing biofilms. Finally, by combining both dynamic and programmable self-assembly, I will show a system of spinning micro-disks at the air-water interface and their use as microrobots in collective navigation and object manipulation for potential medical and robotic applications. The talk will conclude with a discussion on the search for general principles underlying various kinds of self-assembling systems.


Wendong Wang obtained his B.Sc at Nanjing University in 2006 and his Ph.D. with Prof. Geoffrey Ozin in the department of chemistry and Prof. Douglas Perovic in the department of materials science and engineering at the University of Toronto in 2011. He conducted his first postdoctoral research in Prof. Joanna Aizenberg’s lab in the school of engineering and applied sciences at Harvard University till 2014. Afterwards, he worked as an Alexander von Humboldt postdoctoral fellow and then a senior research scientist in Prof. Metin Sitti’s physical intelligence department in the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany. From October 2020, he has been an associate professor in the University of Michigan – Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute at SJTU in Shanghai.