SMP Research Seminar: Dr Oliver Henrich, University of Strathclyde

Dr Oliver Henrich, of the Department of Physics, University of Strathclyde, will be presenting a seminar on his research. All are welcome to attend.

Mesoscopic Simulation of Soft Condensed Matter Abstract: Soft condensed matter shares the common feature in that its generic physical behaviour occurs at energy scales that is comparable to thermal energies at room temperature. This is why we call these materials ‘soft'. As deformability often entails flow, hydrodynamics plays a particularly important role for their dynamical behaviour. Another characteristic quality of soft matter is its tendency to self-assemble into more complex structures on intermediate time and length scales, which are well above the molecular level, but also much smaller than the macroscopic lab scale. Both aspects have led to the development of specialised, mesoscopic simulation methods for soft matter. Starting from Landau’s phenomenological theory of a binary phase-separating fluid, I will outline a thermodynamically consistent description of complex fluids and introduce into the lattice Boltzmann method. These concepts will be applied to study the rheological behaviour of novel topological composite materials that consist of nanoparticle suspensions in liquid crystal host phases. These materials have great potential for tuneable optical filters and encryption devices. Provided there is enough time, I will also give a brief overview of novel coarse-grained models for DNA and RNA. These models allow to access time and length scales that were previously beyond the reach of atomistic simulation methods. I will glance at a DNA-based hydrogel for a recent practical application. Host: Professor Cliff Jones (