Top 10 most-read Soft Matter articles – Q1 2015

This month sees the following articles in Soft Matter that are in the top ten most accessed from January – March:

Liquid marbles: principles and applications 
Glen McHale and Michael I. Newton  
Soft Matter, 2011,7, 5473-5481
DOI: 10.1039/C1SM05066D

Tunable assembly of graphene oxide surfactant sheets: wrinkles, overlaps and impacts on thin film properties 
Laura J. Cote, Jaemyung Kim, Zhen Zhang, Cheng Sun and Jiaxing Huang    
Soft Matter, 2010,6, 6096-6101
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00667J

Thermoresponsive switching of liquid flow direction on a two-face prism array 
Sang Moon Kim, Do Hyun Kang, Jai Hyun Koh, Hyo Seon Suh, Hyunsik Yoon, Kahp-Yang Suh and Kookheon Char  
Soft Matter, 2013,9, 4145-4149
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM27901D

Manipulation of micro- and nanostructure motion with magnetic fields 
Roger S. M. Rikken, Roeland J. M. Nolte, Jan C. Maan, Jan C. M. van Hest, Daniela A. Wilson and Peter C. M. Christianen   
Soft Matter, 2014,10, 1295-1308
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM52294F

Ultra-thin conductive free-standing PEDOT/PSS nanofilms 
Francesco Greco, Alessandra Zucca, Silvia Taccola, Arianna Menciassi, Toshinori Fujie, Hiroki Haniuda, Shinji Takeoka, Paolo Dario and Virgilio Mattoli    
Soft Matter, 2011,7, 10642-10650
DOI: 10.1039/C1SM06174G

Polyelectrolyte adsorption, interparticle forces, and colloidal aggregation 
Istvan Szilagyi, Gregor Trefalt, Alberto Tiraferri, Plinio Maroni and Michal Borkovec    
Soft Matter, 2014,10, 2479-2502
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM52132J

Understanding diluted dispersions of superparamagnetic particles under strong magnetic fields: a review of concepts, theory and simulations 
Jordi Faraudo, Jordi S. Andreu and Juan Camacho    
Soft Matter, 2013,9, 6654-6664
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM00132F

Directed self-assembly of block copolymers: a tutorial review of strategies for enabling nanotechnology with soft matter 
Hanqiong Hu, Manesh Gopinadhan and Chinedum O. Osuji  
Soft Matter, 2014,10, 3867-3889
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM52607K

Bioinspired materials that self-shape through programmed microstructures 
André R. Studart and Randall M. Erb  
Soft Matter, 2014,10, 1284-1294
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM51883C

Liquid marbles: topical context within soft matter and recent progress 
G. McHale and M. I. Newton  
Soft Matter, 2015,11, 2530-2546
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM00084J

Why not take a look at the articles today and blog your thoughts and comments below.

Fancy submitting an article to Soft Matter? Then why not submit to us today!

To keep up-to-date with all the latest research, sign up for the Soft Matter e-Alert or RSS feeds or follow Soft Matter on Twitter or Facebook

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2015 Soft Matter Lectureship is awarded to Lucio Isa

We are delighted to announce Professor Lucio Isa (ETH Zurich) as the 2015 Soft Matter Lectureship winner.

The Soft Matter Lectureship is an annual award that honours an early-stage 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.

Read on to find out more about Lucio…

Lucio Isa 2015 Soft Matter Lectureship winner

Professor Dr Lucio Isa was born in Milan (Italy) in 1979. In 2004 he completed his university studies in Nuclear Engineering with a Mathematics and Physics specialisation at the Milan Polytechnic, obtaining a Master’s degree with honors (100/100 cum laude) with a research project on thermal diffusion of colloidal suspensions with Professor Roberto Piazza. He then moved on to obtain a PhD in Soft Matter Physics at the University of Edinburgh in 2008 (Professor Wilson Poon) where he worked on flow and deformation of dense colloidal glasses. His PhD work was awarded on two occasions (Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher 2007 Award and the British Society of Rheology 2008 Vernon Harrison Award for the most outstanding UK PhD rheology thesis in the academic year 2007/2008). After a short postdoctoral spell in Edinburgh, he moved to the Materials Department of ETH Zurich at the end of 2008 to work on self-assembled materials in the Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology (Professors Nicholas D. Spencer and Marcus Textor). During his time at ETH Zurich he was awarded a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship, an SNSF travel grant as visiting scientist to the University of California Santa Barbara (Professor Todd Squires) and an SNSF Ambizione Fellowship aimed at studying various aspects of micro and nanoparticle self-assembly at liquid interfaces.

Since 1st September 2013 he has been head of the Laboratory for Interfaces, Soft matter and Assembly in the Department of Materials at ETH Zurich as SNSF Assistant Professor. His current interests revolve around the basic understanding of soft materials in terms of their structural, dynamical and mechanical properties, with a specific focus on single-particle wetting and on the rheology of colloidal monolayers and dense pastes. This basic understanding is then applied to the engineering of new materials and processes, including multifunctional colloids, optically active materials and surface nanopatterning.

Professor Isa is a co-founder of Swiss Soft Days, an initiative aimed at creating a national network of scientists working in Soft Matter in Switzerland. He has published 45 peer-reviewed articles in international scientific journals to date and he is the 2015 recipient of the Soft Matter Lectureship award.

Lucio’s most recent Soft Matter articles include:

A multiscale approach to the adsorption of core–shell nanoparticles at fluid interfaces
Adrienne Nelson, Dapeng Wang, Kaloian Koynov and Lucio Isa
Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 118-129

Highly ordered 2D microgel arrays: compression versus self-assembly
Karen Geisel, Walter Richtering and Lucio Isa
Soft Matter, 2014, 10, 7968-7976

Keep your eyes peeled for Lucio’s upcoming Soft Matter article in honour of the Lectureship award.

We would like to thank everybody 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 Lucio in his fantastic achievements by adding your comments below.

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HOT Articles for May!

A new lattice Monte Carlo simulation for dielectric saturation in ion-containing liquids
Xiaozheng Duan and Issei Nakamura

Graphical abstract: A new lattice Monte Carlo simulation for dielectric saturation in ion-containing liquids

Domain walls and anchoring transitions mimicking nematic biaxiality in the oxadiazole bent-core liquid crystal C7
Young-Ki Kim, Greta Cukrov, Jie Xiang, Sung-Tae Shin and Oleg D. Lavrentovich

Graphical abstract: Domain walls and anchoring transitions mimicking nematic biaxiality in the oxadiazole bent-core liquid crystal C7

These articles will be free until 3rd June 2015


Interface-enforced complexation between copolymer blocks
Alexander A. Steinschulte, Weinan Xu, Fabian Draber, Pascal Hebbeker, Andre Jung, Dimitri Bogdanovski, Stefanie Schneider, Vladimir V. Tsukruk and Felix A. Plamper

Graphical abstract: Interface-enforced complexation between copolymer blocks

A dynamic and self-crosslinked polysaccharide hydrogel with autonomous self-healing ability
Fuyuan Ding, Shuping Wu, Shishuai Wang, Yuan Xiong, Yan Li, Bin Li, Hongbing Deng, Yumin Du, Ling Xiao and Xiaowen Shi

Graphical abstract: A dynamic and self-crosslinked polysaccharide hydrogel with autonomous self-healing ability

These articles will be free until 8th June 2015


Surfactant-induced assembly of enzymatically-stable peptide hydrogels
Brad H. Jones, Alina M. Martinez, Jill S. Wheeler and Erik D. Spoerke  

Graphical abstract: Surfactant-induced assembly of enzymatically-stable peptide hydrogels

Tunable synthesis of self-assembled cyclic peptide nanotubes and nanoparticles
Leming Sun, Zhen Fan, Yongzhong Wang, Yujian Huang, Michael Schmidt and Mingjun Zhang

Graphical abstract: Tunable synthesis of self-assembled cyclic peptide nanotubes and nanoparticles
 

These articles will be free until 16th  June 2015


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Soft Matter welcomes new Advisory Board members Bradley Olsen and Thomas Epps III

We are delighted to welcome two new Advisory Board members to the Soft Matter team: Bradley Olsen (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA) and Thomas Epps III (University of Delaware, USA).

Bradley Olsen Thomas Epps III Advisory Board Soft Matter

I hope you’ll join us in giving a warm welcome to Bradley and Thomas in their new posts as Soft Matter Advisory Board members.

Bradley Olsen’s interests lie in investigating the relationships between molecular structure and self-assembly, applying concepts from block copolymer assembly and polymer gels in order to understand complex biohybrid materials. His research endeavours to extend the capability of soft materials such as engineering plastics, energy converters, catalysts, and biomedical hydrogels. One of his recent articles will be featured as part of Soft Matter’s upcoming web collection to celebrate the journals 10th Anniversary.

Take a look at Bradley Olsen’s recent Soft Matter papers and learn more about his research:

Celebrating Soft Matter’s 10th Anniversary: Chain configuration and rate-dependent mechanical properties in transient networks
Michelle K. Sing, Zhen-Gang Wang, Gareth H. McKinley and Bradley D. Olsen
Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 2085-2096

Coil fraction-dependent phase behaviour of a model globular protein–polymer diblock copolymer
Carla S. Thomas and Bradley D. Olsen
Soft Matter, 2014, 10, 3093-3102

Thomas Epps III focusses on designing, synthesising, and characterising new polymeric materials exhibiting molecular level self-assembly. His research is applicable to a range of fields, such as battery and fuel cell membranes, analytical separations membranes, nanoscale containers and scaffolds for targeted drug delivery and surface responsive materials. His most recent Soft Matter article was highlighted as a Hot article and featured in the 2014 Soft Matter Hot Papers web collection.

Find out more about Thomas Epps III’s research by reading these recent articles:

Biobased building blocks for the rational design of renewable block polymers
Angela L. Holmberg, Kaleigh H. Reno, Richard P. Wool and Thomas H. Epps, III
Soft Matter, 2014, 10, 7405-7424

Poly(methyl methacrylate-block-vinyl-m-triphenylamine): synthesis by RAFT polymerization and melt-state self-assembly
Sarah E. Mastroianni, Joseph P. Patterson, Rachel K. O’Reilly and Thomas H. Epps, III
Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 10146-10154

If you have enjoyed reading Bradley’s and Thomas’s recent articles, why not submit your next paper to Soft Matter?

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2015 International Polymer Colloids Group Conference

We are pleased to announce the 2015 International Polymer Colloids Group Conference to be held on June 28 – July 3, 2015 at The University of New Hampshire, Durham, USA.

The 2015 program will bring together world leading scientists to discuss the latest developments in the area of colloidal polymer science. The talks of the invited speakers will feature a balance of traditional and emerging applications for polymer colloids, following the themes of colloids for life, engineering colloids, and colloidal machines. You can see a list of confirmed speakers here.

You can register for the 2015 IPCG Conference here.

SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE

ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

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Nanoparticle Assembly: From Fundamentals to Applications, 7 – 9 January 2016

Nanoparticle Assembly: From Fundamentals to Applications

The upcoming Faraday Discussions meeting on Nanoparticle Assembly: From Fundamentals to Applications will be held in Mumbai, India on 7th – 9th January 2016. Sanat Kumar, Charusita Chakravarty and the rest of the Scientific Committee look forward to welcoming you to this exciting event.

Important Dates

Abstract submission is now OPEN, please submit your abstract here. The deadline for oral abstract submission is 20th April 2015. Make sure you submit your poster abstract by 26th October 2015.

Early bird registration closes on 16th November 2015. Why not register now?

For the full list of dates please follow the link.

Keynote Speakers

Confirmed speakers include Nicholas Kotov, Daan Frenkel, Jayant Singh and Andrea Tao. Take a look at the full list of invited speakers here. Soft Matter Chair, Michael Rubinstein, will conclude the meeting with his closing remarks. The full programme will be available to download here.

Themes

This Faraday Discussion will focus on the rapidly evolving field of nanoparticle (NP) self- and driven assembly, with a view to understanding how evolving developments in the fundamentals can be translated into science/property principles underpinning applications. The meeting will contain four themes:

  • Synthesis and Assembly of Nanoparticles and their Assemblies
  • Modelling and Theory
  • Nanocomposites
  • Applications to Soft Matter

For more information about this exciting event please head to the website.

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HOT Articles for April!

In situ laser-imprinted surface realignment of a nematic liquid crystal
Giorgio Mirri, Miha Škarabot and Igor Muševič

Graphical abstract: In situ laser-imprinted surface realignment of a nematic liquid crystal

Electrostatic swelling of bicontinuous cubic lipid phases
Arwen I. I. Tyler, Hanna M. G. Barriga, Edward S. Parsons, Nicola L. C. McCarthy, Oscar Ces, Robert V. Law, John M. Seddon and Nicholas J. Brooks

Graphical abstract: Electrostatic swelling of bicontinuous cubic lipid phases

These articles will be free until 28th  April 2015


Self-assembly of mesogenic bent-core DNA nanoduplexes
Khanh Thuy Nguyen, Anna Battisti, Daniele Ancora, Francesco Sciortino and Cristiano De Michele

Graphical abstract: Self-assembly of mesogenic bent-core DNA nanoduplexes

Self-assembly of microcapsules regulated via the repressilator signaling network
Henry Shum, Victor V. Yashin and Anna C. Balazs

Graphical abstract: Self-assembly of microcapsules regulated via the repressilator signaling network

These articles will be free until 22nd May 2015


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HOT Articles for March!

Phase separation in ternary fluid mixtures: a molecular dynamics study
Awaneesh Singh and Sanjay Puri

Graphical abstract: Phase separation in ternary fluid mixtures: a molecular dynamics study

Phase transformations in binary colloidal monolayers
Ye Yang, Lin Fu, Catherine Marcoux, Joshua E. S. Socolar, Patrick Charbonneau and Benjamin B. Yellen 

Graphical abstract: Phase transformations in binary colloidal monolayers
These articles will be free until 30th March 2015


Spider’s super-glue: thread anchors are composite adhesives with synergistic hierarchical organization
Jonas O. Wolff, Ingo Grawe, Marina Wirth, André Karstedt and Stanislav N. Gorb

Graphical abstract: Spider's super-glue: thread anchors are composite adhesives with synergistic hierarchical organization

Stretching self-entangled DNA molecules in elongational fields
C. Benjamin Renner and Patrick S. Doyle

Graphical abstract: Stretching self-entangled DNA molecules in elongational fields

These articles will be free until 6th April 2015


Smectic block copolymer thin films on corrugated substrates
Aldo D. Pezzutti, Leopoldo R. Gómez and Daniel A. Vega

Graphical abstract: Smectic block copolymer thin films on corrugated substrates

Solving the mystery of the internal structure of casein micelles
B. Ingham, G. D. Erlangga, A. Smialowska, N. M. Kirby, C. Wang, L. Matia-Merino, R. G. Haverkamp and A. J. Carr

Graphical abstract: Solving the mystery of the internal structure of casein micelles

These articles will be free until 6th April 2015


Flexibility and protection by design: imbricated hybrid microstructures of bio-inspired armor
Stephan Rudykh, Christine Ortiz and Mary C. Boyce

Graphical abstract: Flexibility and protection by design: imbricated hybrid microstructures of bio-inspired armor

Derivation of stretched exponential tap density equations of granular powders
Tian Hao

Graphical abstract: Derivation of stretched exponential tap density equations of granular powders

These articles will be free until 21st  May 2015


Mechanism of anomalously increased oil displacement with aqueous viscoelastic polymer solutions
Andrew Clarke, Andrew M. Howe, Jonathan Mitchell, John Staniland, Laurence Hawkes and Katherine Leeper

Self-assembly of Janus particles under shear
Arash Nikoubashman, Emanuela Bianchi and Athanassios Z. Panagiotopoulos

These articles will be free until 25th  May 2015


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Building Next-Generation Superplasticisers from Plant-Derived Lignin

Web writer Rob Woodward summarises a recent article from the journal

Superplasticisers are a class of materials used to inhibit aggregation in hydraulic cement, improving workability and reducing water requirements without sacrificing strength. Most superplasticisers are anionic polymer dispersants, such as the leading commercial products, polycarboxylate ethers. A low-cost alternative to this class of materials is provided by the plant-derived biopolymer lignin. Lignin is an abundant biopolymer as it is found in most land plants as a component in cell walls. However, Lignin-based substances are poorly performing plasticisers and attempts to significantly improve their properties by copolymerisation with synthetic monomers have thus far been relatively unsuccessful.

In this recent report Gupta et al. provide an alternate approach to the production of high-performance superplasticisers by utilising lignin as a macroinitiator for a reverse addition-fragmentation chain-transfer (RAFT) polymerisation. RAFT is a controlled radical polymerisation technique, which affords good control of molecular weight and polydispersity. Acrylamide was polymerised from the lignin surface in order to create grafted architectures composed of lignin cores with synthetic polyacrylamide coronas. It is found that the lignin compounds synthesised using RAFT polymerisation are more efficient superplasticisers than those prepared by free radical polymerisation, due to their unique polymer-grafted architecture.

The resulting lignin based materials reduced the yield stress of cement paste to similar levels as a leading commercial superplasticiser at concentrations ten-fold lower. These compounds have excellent potential as next-generation admixtures for hydraulic cement, with further work needed to clarify optimal grafting density and length of coronal polymer-chains.

Comparison of physical properties of cement with different superplasticizers
Comparison of physical properties of cement with different superplasticisers

To findout more read the full article below:

Molecular Architecture Requirements for Polymer-Grafted Lignin Superplasticizers by Chetali Gupta, Madeline J. Sverdlove and Newell R. Washburn, Soft Matter, 2015, Advance Article. DOI: 10.1039/C4SM02675F

This post was written by web writer Rob Woodward. Rob is currently based in Imperial College London working in the Polymer and Composite Engineering (PaCE) group. Rob has a background in both responsive polymeric surfactants and microporous organic polymers for carbon capture and storage.

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Soft Matter Prize Winners at 26th Symposium of the Research Group on Polymer Gels

Congratulations go to Matsushita Takuto, Michika Onoda and Kenta Kokado who all won Soft Matter sponsored prizes at the 26th Symposium of the Research Group on Polymer Gels, The Society of Polymer Science held in Tokyo, Japan on 19th-20th January 2015.

26th Symposium of the Research Group on Polymer Gels winner, The Society of Polymer Science
From left to right: Chair: Takao Aoyagi, Prize winners: Matsushita Takuto, Michika Onoda and Kenta Kokado and Royal Society of Chemistry Manager: Hiromitsu Urakami

The Soft Matter poster award was won by Matsushita Takuto who is based at the University of Tokyo, Japan.

The Soft Matter Presentation Award was awarded to Assistant Professor Kenta Kokado who is based at Hokkaido University. Kenta’s research interests are organic and polymer synthesis.

Michika Onoda won the Soft Matter Student Presentation Award. Michika works at the University of Tokyo, Japan.

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