IRG1: Geometric Routes to Soft Assembly and Dynamics

IRG Leaders: Kathleen Stebe & Randall D. Kamien

Senior Investigators; Tobias Baumgart, Peter Collings, Dennis E. Discher, Tom C. Lubensky, Ravi Radhakrishnan, Shu Yang, Arjun Yodh

Soft matter conforms, assembles, and reconfigures in response to the geometry and chemistry of bounding surfaces and interfaces. IRG-1 aims to harness these effects to create new responsive materials and structures using complex fluids, embedded particles, micro-patterned substrates, and confining volumes. The substrates and particles will be designed with topographies, geometries, and surface chemistries selected to impose constraints on complex fluids, including wetting conditions to three-phase contact lines, anchoring conditions to liquid-crystal director fields, and curvature gradients to fluid interfaces & lipid bilayers. In this way fuller understanding of how such factors affect physical properties of soft materials will be developed, and this understanding will be used to create new materials with distinctive, dynamically reconfigurable structures and to develop design rules for controlling positions, orientations, and migration of “particles” on and within these structures.

Highlights for IRG1

Liquid Crystal Janus Droplets
D. Lee, P. Collings, & A. G. Yodh (IRG-1)

Surface Alignment and Handedness of Chromonic Liquid Crystals
Peter Collings, Tom Lubensky and Arjun Yodh (IRG-1) & Alan T. Johnson (Seed)

Living Smectics are sensitive to boundary Elasticity
Dennis Discher and Andrea Liu (IRG1 and Seed)

The Directed Dance of the Defects
Randall Kamien, Kate Stebe and Shu Yang (IRG1)

Making Waves with Liquid Crystals
Randall D. Kamien, Kathleen Stebe and Shu Yang

Post Arrays as Topological Templates
Randall D. Kamien, Kathleen Stebe and Shu Yang

Resistive Switching in Polymer Nanocomposites
Ju Li, Jay Kikkawa and Karen Winey