University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Physics Colloquium

Friday, September 30, 2016
4:00pm – 5:00pm

Storrs Campus
Gant Science Complex, Physcs, Room PB-38

Elena Dormidontova, Associate Professor, UConn Physics and IMS

Physics at Hard/Soft Matter Interfaces: When Hard Matter Helps to Organize Soft Matter and Vice Versa

With the development and application of nanotechnology understanding the interactions between hard and soft matter and how one affects the other has become increasingly important. Using atomistic and coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations we study how soft matter responds to the presence of hard matter confinement and how in turn self-assembled soft matter can help to organize solid nanoparticles. We’ll discuss the spontaneous insertion of a macromolecule from aqueous solution into a carbon nanotube and the concomitant formation of a helical structure which does not form in solution. The physical origin of these effects will be analyzed. We will also discuss lipid self-assembly into discoidal and vesicular structures and investigate their encapsulation of small hydrophobically-modified gold nanoparticles. The effects of gold nanoparticles on the liquid crystalline order of lipids in discoidal aggregates and the temperature-induced transformation to vesicles on gold nanoparticle clustering will be analyzed. In both cases we observe a profound effect of soft and hard matter on each other, the understanding of which can be the key to future fundamental discoveries and practical applications.

Refreshments will be prior to the talk, at 3:30 p.m., in the Gant Complex, Physics Library, Room PB-103.


Dawn Rawlinson, 486-4916,

Physics Department (primary)

Control Panel