Congratulations to the Soft Matter Poster Prizewinners at the 3rd Edwards Symposium

The Edwards Symposium series is a series of annual conferences on soft matter research areas, run as a collaboration between the Turing Gateway to Mathematics, Unilever and the Edwards Centre for Soft Matter. This year’s symposium focused on microscale fluid dynamics, jamming and flow, soft interfaces and responsive and programmable soft matter. One hundred delegates attended the symposium representing both academia and industry.

Soft Matter was proud to sponsor three poster prizes, presented by Professor Tom McLeish (University of York). All winners will receive a subscription to the journal and affiliate membership to the Royal Society of Chemistry for one year.

Shari Patricia Finner (Eindhoven University of Technology) won for her poster presentation titled Conducting Plastics! – Geometric percolation in liquid crystals

Surabhi Kottgegollahalli (IISER Pune) won for her poster presentation titled Computing with Droplets

Deepika Srivastva (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz) won for her poster presentation titled Flow Behaviour of Chain and Star Polymers and their Mixtures.

 

Award winners at the 3rd Edwards Symposium

From left to right Deepika Srivastva, Professor Tom McLeish, Shari Patricia Finner and Surabhi Kottgegollahalli

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Ideal reversible polymer networks

Written by Dr Xingcai Zhang

Ideal reversible polymer networks have well-controlled network structures and totally reversible crosslinks. They have similarly controlled polymer network structures as ideal covalent polymer networks but they exhibit time-dependent mechanical properties (i.e. viscoelasticity) due to the presence of reversible crosslinks that can associate and dissociate.

10.1039/C8SM00646F

Researchers at MIT have provided a new insight into the mechanical properties of ideal reversible polymer networks. They use a 4-arm equal-length short-chain polymer as a unit (as shown in the figure above) to build up the reversible polymer network which can, therefore, be modeled as springs and dashpots in series. Based on this assumption, they theoretically and experimentally showed that the viscoelasticity of ideal reversible polymer networks follows the Maxwell model (G(t) = vekBT exp(kt), in which ve is the concentration of elastically-active chains, kBT is the thermal energy scale). This can be characterized by instantaneous shear modulus (G0= vekBT, which can be tuned by varying concentration, molecular weight, pH, and temperature) and relaxation time (t = 1/k, which can be tuned by pH and temperature).

This study provides a simple yet general method to design the viscoelasticity of polymer networks and to quantitatively measure their kinetic properties. This work develops our understanding of reversible-crosslinked polymers in various systems and provides an insight into how researchers can tune their properties.

 

Read the full article here:  Ideal reversible polymer networks Soft Matter, 2018,14, 5186-5196

 

About the Writer

Dr Xingcai ZhangDr. Xingcai Zhang is a Harvard SEAS Fellow at Harvard University. He was a postdoc researcher at MIT/SYSU. His expertise includes chemistry, bionanomaterials, bionanomedicine, nanotea, natural products, carbon/polymer/natural/two-dimensional materials for biomed/catalysis/absoption/energy applications. Dr. Zhang serves as an Associate Editor for a Springer Nature journal and is on the Advisory Board of a Wiley cancer journal and an editor of a cancer journal. Some of Dr. Zhang`s publications can be found at: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7114-1095 and Google Scholar  and he can be reached at xingcai@mit.edu and mylovetea@outlook.com

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Jülich Soft Matter Days

Teaser:

Jülich Soft Matter Days (20-23 Nov. 2018)

In 2018 we are organizing again the workshop on the physics and chemistry of mesoscopically structured biological and synthetic macromolecular systems. We hope that this workshop will provide a forum to share and discuss the latest advances for all active researchers in this field. The sessions of the meeting include Cell Mechanics and Migration, Active Systems, DNA-based Macromolecules, Colloids and Proteins, Biopolymers, Flow and Microfluidics, Interfaces.

 

For a list of invited speakers and further information, please visit the conference website.

Please note that the deadline for abstract submission is 30 July.

Read more:

Soft Matter Science has emerged in recent years as an independent and interdisciplinary research field, bringing together scientists from macromolecular physics and chemistry, statistical physics, biophysics, and molecular and cell biology. The systems investigated in this field include synthetic and biological macromolecules, colloids, membranes, vesicles, and active systems such as synthetic and biological microswimmers. The phenomena investigated include the phase behaviour and non-equilibrium dynamics in colloidal dispersions and polymeric systems. Soft Matter Science thus aims at the understanding of complex macromolecular systems, the design and use of synthetic and biomimetic materials, their application as functional materials, and the understanding of biological systems and processes. While many of these systems have already been investigated separately for a long period of time, their common features and interactions have recently come into focus.

These highly complex materials consist of structural units with typical length scales ranging from nanometers to micrometers. The experimental and theoretical investigations involved, as well as the understanding of the properties of these materials, pose enormous challenges due to their high complexity, the large number of cooperative degrees of freedom, and the large range of relevant length, time and energy scales.

To bring together scientists from these various research fields and to foster the exchange of ideas and collaborations, we are organizing the workshop

Jülich Soft Matter Days 2018

 

on the physics and chemistry of mesoscopically structured biological and synthetic macromolecular systems. We hope that this workshop will provide a forum to share and discuss the latest advances for all active researchers in this field. The topics planned for this year’s workshop are:

  • Cell Mechanics and Migration
  • Active Systems
  • DNA-based Macromolecules
  • Colloids and Proteins
  • Biopolymers
  • Flow and Microfluidics
  • Interfaces

Please mind the deadline for abstract submission:

30 July 2018

For a list of invited speakers and further information, please visit the conference website.

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University of Vienna announces new Full Professorship in Experimental Soft Matter Physics

The appointment of particularly qualified researchers to university professors is an important strategy of the University of Vienna

The University of Vienna are looking for an outstanding researcher with an internationally established record and reputation in the broad area of experimental soft condensed matter physics, non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, or biological physics.

The research topics of interest include, without being limited to these: self-assembly behavior of soft matter in- and out-of equilibrium; phase transformations; novel soft and hybrid and composite materials; active systems; stochastic thermodynamics; rheology; and physics-oriented approach to biological systems. 

Applicants are expected to strengthen the existing research focus of the Faculty of Physics on soft matter, statistical mechanics and soft materials by conducting world-class research, by attracting competitive funding and by actively promoting collaboration with theoretical/computational soft matter groups of the Faculty of Physics.

For more details click here

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Presenting a themed collection on electrostatics and soft matter

Introducing a themed collection on electrostatics and soft matter; put together in memory of the late chemist Per Linse

Soft Matter is pleased to present this collection on electrostatics and soft matter, in memory of Per Linse, a prominent researcher who made many key contributions within the field of soft matter electrostatics and polyelectrolytes.

The collection is Guest Edited by Christos Likos (University of Vienna, Austria) and Joakim Stenhammar (Lund University, Sweden), and their Editorial for the collection is available here.

The full collection contains contributions from many of Per’s former colleagues, as well as other leaders in the field and we have highlighted some of these articles below:

 

Hunting mermaids in real space: known knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns
C. Patrick Royall
Soft Matter, 2018,14, 4020-4028
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00400E, Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Concentration-dependent swelling and structure of ionic microgels: simulation and theory of a coarse-grained model
Tyler J. Weyer and Alan R. Denton
Soft Matter, 2018,14, 4530-4540
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00799C, Paper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Field-induced dipolar attraction between like-charged colloids
Chunyu Shih, John J. Molina and Ryoichi Yamamoto
Soft Matter, 2018,14, 4520-4529
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00395E, Paper

 

 

 

Hydrodynamic simulations of charge-regulation effects in colloidal suspensions
Kyohei Takae and Hajime Tanaka
Soft Matter, 2018, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00579F, Paper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making strong polyelectrolyte brushes pH-sensitive by incorporation of gold nanoparticles

D. Boyaciyan, P. Krause and R. von Klitzing
Soft Matter, 2018,14, 4029-4039
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00411K, Paper

 

Strong-coupling theory of counterions between symmetrically charged walls: from crystal to fluid phases
Ladislav Šamaj, Martin Trulsson and Emmanuel Trizac
Soft Matter, 2018,14, 4040-4052
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00571K, Paper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2018 Soft Matter Lectureship Winner

The Soft Matter Lectureship is an annual award that honours an early-career researcher for their significant contribution to the soft matter field. The recipient is selected by the Soft Matter Editorial Board from a list of candidates nominated by the community.

It is with great pleasure that we announce Prof. Susan Perkin (University of Oxford, UK) as the recipient of the 2018 Soft Matter Lectureship.

Susan Perkin graduated with a First in Chemistry from St. John’s College, Oxford (with a St. John’s College Academic Scholarship), then received her DPhil in 2006 studying with Jacob Klein. She moved to UCL in London in 2007 where she set up a laboratory and research group to work on ionic liquids and liquid interfaces. In 2012 she returned to the Faculty of Chemistry at Oxford and she is currently an Associate Professor of Physical Chemistry and Fellow of Trinity College, University of Oxford.

Her current interests include electrostatics in concentrated electrolytes and ionic liquids, molecular mechanisms of friction and lubrication, field effects on confined liquids, graphene surface forces, and controlling surface properties through the design of switchable thin films.

In the past few years Susan has been awarded a Starting Grant from the ERC, the Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry, and a Philip Leverhulme Prize from The Leverhulme Trust.

 

To learn more about Susan’s research read some of her publications in our sister journals:

Underscreening in concentrated electrolytes
Alpha A. Lee,  Carla S. Perez-Martinez,  Alexander M. Smith  and  Susan Perkin
Faraday Discuss., 2017, 119, 239-259

Ionic liquids in confined geometries
Susan Perkin
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2012,14, 5052-5062

Long range electrostatic forces in ionic liquids
Matthew A. Gebbie,  Alexander M. Smith,  Howard A. Dobbs,  Alpha A. Lee,  Gregory G. Warr,  Xavier Banquy,  Markus Valtiner,  Mark W. Rutland,  Jacob N. Israelachvili,  Susan Perkin  and  Rob Atkin
Chem. Commun., 2017,53, 1214-1224

Thank you to everyone who nominated a candidate for the Lectureship; we received many excellent nominations, and the Editorial Board had a difficult task in choosing between some outstanding candidates.

Please join us in congratulating Susan on her award!

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Magnetic Steering of Soft Liquid Metal Machines

Written by web writer Dr Xingcai Zhang

Gallium-based liquid metals are a family of unique materials with remarkably low melting points (~15.5 ℃). They remain liquid at room temperature and can conform to their surrounding environment, making them an ideal candidates for producing soft machines. Soft machines can move forward and pass through barriers by ingeniously adapting their bodies to the surrounding environment. Therefore, soft machines have advantages over their rigid counterparts, for applications in confined space and on rough terrains.

To investigate the potential of liquid metal (eutectic gallium indium) for soft machine uses, researchers from Xi’an Jiaotong University, China described a magnetic scenario to effortlessly and precisely control the motion of liquid metal-based soft machines. The soft machine was powered by micro-scale magnetic beads embedded inside the liquid metal. When the magnetic field was on, the beads quickly responded to it, moved to the boundary of the liquid metal and dragged the liquid metal to move in any direction, as guided by the applied magnetic field.  The moving speed of the soft liquid metal machine could be well modulated in a certain range. Interestingly, once the soft machine was no longer required, its movability was stopped by extracting the embedded “engine” (the magnetic beads) with a simple fast move of the magnet. In addition, the ability to perform in various environments (on a solid surface and in water) ensures this magnetic method can be a versatile way to steer liquid metal machines.

Magnetic Steering of Soft Liquid Metal Machines

Figure 1. Magnetic steering of soft liquid metal machines. (a) Schematic illustration of the fabrication and motion of liquid metal machines. (b, c) Liquid metal machine locomotion for on paper (b) and in water (c) cases under magnetic control.

 

The liquid metal is unique in combining liquid-like fluidity and metal-like electrical conductivity, so soft machines based on liquid metal are quite promising for electronic applications. To uncover this potential, the group designed such liquid metal machines as elements for healing paper-based flexible electronics. In their experimental demonstrations, liquid metal machines were driven by a magnetic field to reconnect the open circuit of an AND-OR logic circuit by gluing the isolated electrodes together.

This research offers a novel route to control the steering motion of liquid metal mobiles and gearing soft machines with easy accessibility and direct control. This can inspire those working on magnetics to explore new application realms for magnetic actuation.

Magnetic steering of liquid metal mobiles Soft Matter, 2018, Advance Article. DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00056E

Read this article for FREE until 8 May

 

About the web writer

Dr Xingcai ZhangDr. Xingcai Zhang is a Harvard SEAS Fellow at Harvard University. He was a postdoc researcher at MIT/SYSU. His expertise includes chemistry, bionanomaterials, bionanomedicine, nanotea, natural products, carbon/polymer/natural/two-dimensional materials for biomed/catalysis/absoption/energy applications. Dr. Zhang serves as an Associate Editor for a Springer Nature journal and is on the Advisory Board of a Wiley cancer journal and an editor of a cancer journal. Some of Dr. Zhang`s publications can be found at: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7114-1095 and he can be reached at xingcai@mit.edu and mylovetea@outlook.com

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Outstanding Reviewers for Soft Matter in 2017

We would like to highlight the Outstanding Reviewers for Soft Matter in 2017, as selected by the editorial team, for their significant contribution to the journal. The reviewers have been chosen based on the number, timeliness and quality of the reports completed over the last 12 months.

We would like to say a big thank you to those individuals listed here as well as to all of the reviewers that have supported the journal. Each Outstanding Reviewer will receive a certificate to give recognition for their significant contribution.

Professor Nino Grizzuti, University of Naples, Federico II
Dr Daeyeon Lee, University of Pennsylvania, ORCID: 0000-0001-6679-290X
Dr M. Lettinga, Forschungszentrum Julich, ORCID: 0000-0002-1894-2691
Dr Qi Lin, Northwest Normal University, ORCID: 0000-0002-3786-3593
Dr Minghua Liu, CAS Key Laboratory of Colloid and Interface Science, ORCID: 0000-0002-6603-1251
Dr Kaiqiang Liu, Shaanxi Normal University, ORCID: 0000-0001-7069-566X
Professor Jan Vermant, ETH Zurich, ORCID: 0000-0002-0352-0656
Dr Yilin Wang, Chinese Academy of Sciences, ORCID: 000-0002-8455-390X
Dr Lixin Wu, Jilin University, ORCID: 0000-0002-4735-8558
Dr Shimei Xu, Sichuan University, ORCID: 0000-0002-2217-2335

We would also like to thank the Soft Matter board and the soft matter research community for their continued support of the journal, as authors, reviewers and readers.

If you would like to become a reviewer for our journal, just email us with details of your research interests and an up-to-date CV or résumé.  You can find more details in our author and reviewer resource centre

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Congratulations to Soft Matter Prizewinners at Polymer Gels Symposium

The 29th Society of Polymer Science Japan (SPSJ) – Research Group on Polymer Gels Symposium was held at the Tokyo Institute of Technology on the 11th & 12th January. Soft Matter was proud to sponsor two awards at this symposium and both winners will receive one years free subscription to Soft Matter!

Takumi Watanabe (Shinshu University) won the Soft Matter Presentation Award for his presentation titled ‘Polystyrene-Composited Microgels Prepared in the Presence on Polyelectrolyte Microgels’.

Takeshi Fujiyabu (The University of Tokyo) won the Soft Matter Poster Award,  for his Poster Presentation titled ‘Comparison of Three Diffusion Coefficients Describing Dynamics of Polymer Gel’.

 

Prof Furukawa with Soft Matter award winners Takumi Watanabe and Takeshi Fujiyabu

Prof Furukawa (central) with Soft Matter award winners Takumi Watanabe (left) and Takeshi Fujiyabu (right)

Congratulations to both Award Winners!

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Submit to Soft Matter using Overleaf

Image of RSC and Overleaf logos

In May 2016, the Royal Society of Chemistry announced a new partnership with Overleaf, whereby authors submitting to Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (PCCP) could access Overleaf’s collaborative cloud-based writing and reviewing tool with 1-click submission into the PCCP ScholarOne submission system. In 2017, this partnership was extendedand authors can now submit their manuscripts to Soft Matter using the same system.

To help authors publish their research with us we host our Soft Matter LaTeX template in the Overleaf authoring tool. Overleaf simplifies LaTeX authorship by enabling collaborators to easily prepare and edit their manuscripts with realtime format previewing, simple document sharing and collaboration, user support and LaTeX help.

With one click, the PDF of your manuscript and a ZIP file of the LaTeX source files are sent directly to the Soft Matter submission system without the need to download and re-upload files, making the process quicker and easier.

A free introductory course is available to authors who are new to LaTeX and Overleaf.  Our Microsoft Word templates are located in our author guidelines.

The template is also available from the Soft Matter website.

About Overleaf

Founded in 2012 and with over 400,000 registered users, Overleaf is an academic authorship tool that allows seamless collaboration and effortless manuscript submission, all underpinned by cloud-technology. By providing an intuitive online collaborative writing and publishing platform, Overleaf is making the process of writing, editing and publishing scientific documents quicker and easier. Researchers and academics can now write, collaborate, and publish with a single click, directly from the Overleaf web-app. Publishers and Institutions are partnering with Overleaf to provide customized writing templates, simple reference tool linking, and one-click publishing submission links.

Supported by Digital Science, Overleaf aims to make science and research faster, more open and more transparent by bringing the whole scientific writing process into one place in the cloud – from idea, to writing, to review, to publication.

Follow @overleaf and @softmatter on Twitter.

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