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Nominations for the 2019 Soft Matter Lectureship are now open!

Do you know an early-career researcher who deserves recognition for their contribution to the soft matter field?

Now is your chance to put them forward for the accolade they deserve!

Soft Matter is pleased to announce that nominations are now being accepted for its 2019 Lectureship award. This annual award was established in 2009 to honour an early-stage career scientist who has made a significant contribution to the soft matter field.

The recipient of the award will be asked to present a lecture at the in Edinburgh in June 2019, where they will also be presented with the award. The Soft Matter Editorial Office will provide financial support to the recipient for travel and accommodation costs.

The recipient will also be asked to contribute a lead article to the journal and will have their work showcased free of charge on the front cover of the issue in which their article is published.

Prof Daeyeon Lee

2017 winner Daeyeon Lee gives his talk at the Colloid and Interface Symposium

Previous winners

2018 – Susan Perkin, University of Oxford, UK

2017 – Daeyeon Lee, University of Pennsylvania, USA

2016 – Damien Baigl, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France

2015 – Lucio Isa, ETH Zürich, Switzerland

2014 – Eric Dufresne, Yale Univeristy, USA

2013 – Eric Furst, University of Delaware, USA

2012 – Patrick Doyle, MIT, USA

2011 – Michael J. Solomon, University of Michigan, USA

2010 – Bartosz Grzybowski, UNIST, Republic of Korea

2009 – Emanuela Zaccarelli, University of Rome, Italy

 

Eligibility

To be eligible for the lectureship, candidates should meet the following criteria:

  • Be an independent researcher, having completed PhD and postdoctoral studies
  • Be actively pursuing research within the soft matter field, and have made a significant contribution to the field
  • Be at an early stage of their independent career (this should be within 12 years of attaining their doctorate or equivalent degree, but appropriate consideration will be given to those who have taken a career break or followed an alternative study path)

Although the Soft Matter Lectureship doesn’t explicitly reward support of or contributions to the journal, candidates with no history of either publishing in or refereeing for the journal would typically not be considered.

Selection

  • Eligible nominated candidates will be notified of their nomination, and will be asked to provide 3 recent articles that they feel represent their current research.
  • All eligible nominated candidates will be assessed by a shortlisting panel, made up of members of the Soft Matter Advisory Board and a previous lectureship winner.
  • The shortlisting panel will consider the articles provided by the candidates as well as their CVs and letters of nomination.
  • Shortlisted candidates will be further assessed by the Soft Matter Editorial Board, and a winner will be selected based on an anonymous poll.
  • Selection is not based simply on quantitative measures. Consideration will be given to all information provided in the letter of recommendation and candidate CV, including research achievements and originality, contributions to the soft matter community, innovation, collaborations and teamwork, publication history, and engagement with Soft Matter.

Nominations

  • Nominations must be made via email to softmatter-rsc@rsc.org, and should include a short CV and a brief letter of nomination.
  • Self-nomination is not permitted.
  • Nominators do not need to be senior researchers, and we encourage nominations from people at all career levels.
  • As part of the Royal Society of Chemistry, we believe we have a responsibility to promote inclusivity and accessibility in order to improve diversity. Where possible, we encourage each nominator to consider nominating candidates of all genders, races, and backgrounds.
  • Candidates outside of the stated eligibility criteria may still be considered.

Nominations should be submitted no later than 15th December 2018.

 

 

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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

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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2018 Soft Matter Lectureship Winner

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

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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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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Congratulations to Soft Matter Award Winners at ICBZM2017

Soft Matter was proud to sponsor ICBZM2017, which took place this year in Tokyo, from the 18th to the 20th October. During the conference two Soft Matter Poster prizes were awarded.

Winners of the Soft Matter poster prize were;

 

Bowen Li (University of Washington), for his poster presentation on ‘Zwitterionic nanocages improve the safety and efficacy of biologic drugs’.

Bowen Li

Bowen Li with Prof. Shaoyi Jiang

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary O’Kelly (University of Washington) for her poster presentation on ‘Self-healing ZI micro gels as a versatile platform material for malleable constructs and injectable therapies’.

 

Mary O'Kelly

Mary O’Kelly with Prof. Shaoyi Jiang

 

Congratulations to both Bowen and Mary!

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Congratulations to Soft Matter Award Winners at IUMRS-ICAM 2017

Soft Matter was proud to sponsor IUMRS-ICAM 2017, which took place this year in Kyoto, from the 27th August to the 1st of September. Over 1,200 oral presentations and 700 poster presentations were given across the 6-day conference.

There were 7 Soft Matter Award Winners, across 3 different sessions, focusing on ‘Soft Active Interfaces’, ‘Structure and Physical Properties of Polymers in Confined Systems’, and ‘Soft Matter Science and Technology – Revisit to Unsolved Problems and Challenges’.

Award Winners were;
NienTing Hsieh (Chung Yuan Christian University) for her Oral Presentation on ‘Molecular Design of a Dual-Functional Quaternary Amine Copolymer for Bacterial Reversible Self-Cleaning Control via Zwitterionic Counterion Activation’

Hsieh

NienTing Hsieh with Prof. Yung Chang (Supervisor)

Yoji Yamashita (Osaka City University) for his Poster Presentation on ‘Synthesis of Curable Hyperbranched Polymers Containing Dense Degradable Groups and Their Application to Degradable Cured Materials’

Yamashita

Yoji Yamashita with Prof. Eriko Sato (Supervisor)

Nozomi Arai (University of Kyoto) for his Poster Presentation on ‘Direct Observation and Modeling of Attachment Behavior of Colloid Particles on A Bubble Surface’

Arai

Nozomi Arai with Dr. Satoshi Watanabe

Dr. Yukari Oda (Kyushu University) for her Oral Presentation on ‘Interfacial Modifications of Thin Films by Preferential Segregation of Janus Macromolecules’

Oda

Dr. Yukari Oda

Dr. Keita Sakakibara (Kyoto University) for his Poster Presentation on ‘Preparation of High-Density Polyethylene Nanocomposites Well Reinforced by Cellulose Nanofiber Using Diblock Copolymer-type Dispersants’

Sakakibara

Dr. Keita Sakakibara

Thanh-Tam Mai (Kyoto Institute of Technology) for his Oral Presentation on ‘Novel Features of the Mullins Effect in Filled Elastomers Revealed by Stretching Measurements in Various Geometries’

Mai

Thanh-Tam Mai with Prof. Kenji Urayama (supervisor)

Dr. Shohei Ida (The University of Shiga Prefecture) for his Poster Presentation on ‘Precision Synthesis of Controlled Telechelic PNIPAAm with Thiol-Termini for Construction of Homogeneous Network by Thiol-Ene End-Crosslinking’

Ida

Dr. Shohei Ida

Congratulations to all winners! We wish you the very best for the future.

 

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