Self-assembly research has the potential to fulfill our ultimate technological and scientific desires that are (i) to mimic complex material architectures that we see in Nature to advance our technology, (ii) to understand the emergence of life, and (iii) to decipher the universal rules that govern emergence of complex materials and behavior. Although there is no general theory for complex systems, this does not stop us from experimentally exploring the controlled creation of complex structures and behavior, inspired primarily by biological organisms.

We conduct interdisciplinary research at the interface between materials science, physics, mathematics, chemistry, and biology. Our goal is to understand complexity around us and to make use of it by “simplifying” it through a unique far-from-equilibrium self-assembly approach that we have developed. We have shown this method in very many different experimental setups ranging from vacuum systems to liquid/colloidal solutions to liquid crystals to light-solid interactions to light itself in the form of ultrashort laser pulses. Using these setups, we have experimented with a variety of materials ranging from silicon atoms to polystyrene nanoparticles, to microorganisms, to cancer cells, to sub-5 nm nanoparticles, to ceramics, and metal surfaces. Brief descriptions of our current research efforts are listed below:

– Condensed matter and nonequilibrium statistical physics,

– Nonlinear dynamics [Collaborator(s): Prof F. Ö. Ilday],

– Complex nanoparticle arrangements for optical, optoelectronic, and photonic device applications [Collaborator(s): Prof H. Volkan Demir],

– Emergent phenomena in microorganisms [Collaborator(s): Prof E. Doruk Engin and Prof Yilin Wu],

– Cancer as a far from equilibrium phenomena [Collaborator(s): Prof Özgür Şahin and Prof Tayfun Özçelik],

– Physical approach to the metabolic disease mechanisms [Collaborator(s): Prof Ebru Erbay],

– Dissipative chemistry,

– Complex, dynamic, and adaptive materials for solar cells.