Friday, February 21, 2014
10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Room 0112 Marker Seminar Room, Chemistry
Martha Heil
301 405 0876

Some Surprises and Open Questions in Soft Materials

A fundamental materials challenge is to form structure that is not frozen in place but instead reconfigures internally driven by energy throughput and adapts to its environment robustly. Predicated on fluorescence imaging at the single-particle level, this talk describes quantitative studies of how this can happen. With Janus colloidal clusters, we show the powerful role of synchronized motion in self-assembly. In living cells, we find that transportation efficiency problems bear a provocative parallel with polymer chain trajectories with their spatial extent, and with jammed matter in their time evolution. A picture emerges in which simple experiments, performed at single-particle and single-molecule resolution, can dissect macroscopic phenomena in ways that surprise.

Steve Granick received his B.A. cum laude from Princeton University in 1978 and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1982. He joined the faculty of the University of Illinois in 1985 following postdoctoral research at the Collège de France with P.-G. de Gennes and at the University of Minnesota with Matthew Tirrell. Presently he holds the Racheff Chair of Materials Science and Engineering and is also Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Professor of  Physics and Biophysics. With more than 250 refereed publications in various journals, his honors include the national Polymer Physics Prize of the American Physical Society (2009) and the national Colloid and Surface Chemistry Award of the American Chemical Society (2013). He is married to Helen Lau and has two children, Bruce and Martin.

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