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Distributed Magnetic Self-Assembly Inspired by Protein Folding

Southern, Emily (2017) Distributed Magnetic Self-Assembly Inspired by Protein Folding. MSc by research thesis, University of York.

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The goal of artificial self-assembly has been pursued for many decades in order to improve manufacturing at small scales and also to understand more about the process of self- assembly in nature. However, many previous approaches to this problem are limited either in their ability to be used at small scales or in their ability to produce complex, heterogeneous structures. In this thesis, preliminary work has been carried out on an approach that uses tiles and permanent magnets which can reconfigure from a 1D chain to a 2D structure. Inspiration for the system was drawn from the self-assembly of protein chains into their native states through enthalphy. As such, paths for the magnets are designed so that, after initiation, the magnets reconfigure and passively change the chain geometry into the shape desired by the user. The final structure is pre-determined, while the actuation occurs in an entirely bottom-up matter. The system uses no electronic components and is likely to scale down in size favourably. Inequalities that constrain the internal geometry of the tiles are derived, and the system is shown to work successfully in both simulation and physical experiments. Finally, simulations containing large numbers of tiles are presented to indicate the capability of the system to produce detailed and potentially functional structures.

Item Type: Thesis (MSc by research)
Academic Units: The University of York > Electronics (York)
Depositing User: Ms Emily Southern
Date Deposited: 04 May 2018 16:08
Last Modified: 04 May 2018 16:08
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/19972

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