Solutions to global problems including energy conversion and storage and clean water require increasingly complex, multi-component hybrid materials with unprecedented control over hierarchical length scales and local order. This talk will give examples for the rational design of novel functional hybrid materials with hierarchical order from the near-molecular to the meso-scale. These materials are based on block copolymer self-assembly directed inorganic components into organic-inorganic hybrid materials. Discussion will include formation of porous materials with amorphous, polycrystalline, and epitaxially grown single-crystal structures. Experiments will be compared to theoretical predictions to provide physical insights into formation principles. The aim of the described work is to understand the underlying fundamental chemical, thermodynamic and kinetic formation principles enabling generalization of results over a wide class of materials systems. Examples will include the formation of hierarchical structures at equilibrium as well as via processes far away from equilibrium. Targeted applications of the prepared systems will include the development of mesoporous electrodes for energy conversion and storage devices, asymmetric ultrafiltration membranes, as well as the formation of metamaterials for optical devices and sensors.
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