Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Bouncing Leidenfrost droplets seem to defy gravity

Scientists uncover why charged droplets on a hot surface bounce progressively higher.

Leidenfrost

Source: © Royal Society of Chemistry
Dynamics of an ethanol Leidenfrost droplet in an electric field. The total time covered by (b) and (c) is about 9 seconds

 

Researchers from the Netherlands and China have discovered that they can make small droplets dribble on a hot surface like a bouncing ball by applying an electric field. Changes in the droplet’s mass and charge over time make it bounce progressively higher, seemingly defying gravitational attraction.

Inspired by a video showing droplets orbiting a charged knitting needle at the International Space Station, Sander Wildeman from the University of Twente and Chao Sun from Tsinghua University wanted to investigate how charged droplets behave in a strong electric field. ‘Gravity is a problem on Earth, and we wanted the droplets to move without friction as they do in space,’ explains Wildeman. This is why they decided to do their investigation on Leidenfrost droplets, which move with very little friction.

Read the full story by Liisa Niitsoo in Chemistry World.


This article is free to access until 16 January 2016.

Sander Wildeman and Chao Sun, Soft Matter, 2016. DOI: 10.1039/C6SM01506A

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Royal Society of Chemistry and ACS Publications commit to ORCID integration

Yesterday, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the American Chemical Society Publications Division, ACS Publications, both signed the ORCID Open Letter committing to unambiguous identification of all authors that publish in our journals.

The official press release can be found here: http://rsc.li/orcid

In brief, this partnership with ORCID will resolve ambiguity in researcher identification caused by name changes, cultural differences in name presentation, and the inconsistent use of name abbreviations, thereby ensuring their contributions are appropriately recognized and credited.

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Handy gel grips chemists

Concept of composite material gripping

Source: Royal Society of Chemistry

A team of scientists has computationally modelled a responsive material that shows finger-like motion while another research group has theoretically studied materials that can move like a snail.

 

The human body is a remarkable system, and scientists have tried hard to reproduce its combination of motion and stability for many years. One promising approach is to use systems composed of several different materials that can mimic bone and muscle structure and can respond to stimuli such as light.

To read the full article visit Chemistry World.

Awaneesh Singh, Olga Kuksenok and Anna C. Balazs
Soft Matter, 2016, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C6SM02006B, Paper
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In celebration of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was jointly awarded to Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa for their work on the design and synthesis of molecular machines.

Developing the world’s smallest machines: Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Fraser Stoddart and Bernard Feringa

Jean-Pierre Sauvage took the first step towards a molecular machine in 1983, when he successfully  linked two ring-shaped molecules together to form a chain, called a catenane. The molecules in this chain are linked by a mechanical bond, allowing the two interlocked rings to move relative to each other, performing like a tiny machine.

Fraser Stoddart took the second step in 1991, when he developed a rotaxane by threading a molecular ring onto a thin molecular axle. The ring is able to move along the axle enabling a number of developments such as a molecular lift, a molecular muscle and a molecule-based computer chip.

Bernard Feringa took the third step by developing the first molecular motor in 1999 when he got a molecular rotor blade to spin continually in the same direction. Using molecular motors, he has rotated a glass cylinder that is 10,000 times bigger than the motor and also designed a nanocar!

The ground breaking steps taken by the 2016 Nobel Laureates in Chemistry in developing molecular machinery have resulted in a toolbox of chemical structures that can be used by researchers around the world to build anything from artificial switches and release-targeted drugs to novel energy storage systems!

To celebrate these remarkable achievements, we are delighted to present a collection of recent Soft Matter and Polymer Chemistry articles on molecular machines FREE to read until 1 December 2016!

We invite you to submit your best research related to molecular machines to Soft Matter and Polymer Chemistry!


Reviews
Integrated motion of molecular machines in supramolecular polymeric scaffolds
Xuzhou Yan, Bo Zheng and Feihe Huang
Polym. Chem., 2013, 4, 2395-2399
DOI: 10.1039/C3PY00060E

Research articles
Topological energy storage of work generated by nanomotors
Fabian Weysser, Olivier Benzerara, Albert Johner and Igor M. Kulić
Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 732-740
DOI: 10.1039/C4SM02294G

Hydrodynamics and propulsion mechanism of self-propelled catalytic micromotors: model and experiment
Longqiu Li, Jiyuan Wang, Tianlong Li, Wenping Song and Guangyu Zhang
Soft Matter, 2014, 10, 7511-7518
DOI: 10.1039/C4SM01070A

Construction of muscle-like metallo-supramolecular polymers from a pillar[5]arene-based [c2]daisy chain
Lingyan Gao, Zibin Zhang, Bo Zheng and Feihe Huang
Polym. Chem., 2014, 5, 5734-5739
DOI: 10.1039/C4PY00733F

An acid/base switchable and reversibly cross-linkable polyrotaxane
Shijun Li, Guan-Huan Weng, Wei Lin, Zhi-Bin Sun, Mi Zhou, Bin Zhu, Yang Ye and Jing Wu
Polym. Chem., 2014, 5, 3994-4001
DOI: 10.1039/C4PY00409D

Dual stimuli-responsive supramolecular pseudo-polyrotaxane hydrogels
Lipeng Zhou, Jiaxi Li, Quan Luo, Junyan Zhu, Huixin Zou, Yuzhou Gao, Liang Wang, Jiayun Xu, Zeyuan Dong and Junqiu Liu
Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 4635-4641
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM27776C

pH-responsive dendritic polyrotaxane drug-polymer conjugates forming nanoparticles as efficient drug delivery system for cancer therapy
Yang Kang, Xiao-Mei Zhang, Sheng Zhang, Li-Sheng Ding and Bang-Jing Li
Polym. Chem., 2015, 6, 2098-2107
DOI: 10.1039/C4PY01431F

Phototriggered supramolecular polymerization of a [c2]daisy chain rotaxane
Xin Fu, Rui-Rui Gu, Qi Zhang, Si-Jia Rao, Xiu-Li Zheng, Da-Hui Qu and He Tian
Polym. Chem., 2016, 7, 2166-2170
DOI: 10.1039/C6PY00309E


Also of interest: Find out more about the three Chemistry Nobel Laureates and their research.

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Nanoplasters get cells into sticky situation

Nanoparticles that glue cells together could aid wound healing or stop tumour metastasis

tumour cells concept

Source: © Shutterstock

An international team of researchers has found that sticky nanoparticles can aggregate cells lacking the naturally occurring proteins that normally hold them together. These polystyrene nanostickers could help wound healing or stop tumour cells from spreading through the body.

To read the full article visit Chemistry World.

Benjamin Brunel, Grégory Beaune, Usharani Nagarajan, Sylvie Dufour, Françoise Brochard-Wyart and Françoise M. Winnik
Soft Matter, 2016, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C6SM01450J, Communication
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Top 10 Reviewers for Soft Matter

In celebration of Peer Review Week, with the theme of Recognition for Review, we would like to highlight the top 10 reviewers for Soft Matter in 2016, as selected by the editor for their significant contribution to the journal.

Top 10 Reviewers for Soft Matter:
– Professor Jan Dhont – ICS-3, Germany
– Dr Kaigiang Liu – Shaanxi Normal University, China
– Dr Wei Hong – Iowa State University, USA
– Professor Jan Vermant – ETH Zurich, Switzerland
– Dr Yilin Wang – Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
– Dr Giorgio Cinacchi – Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain
– Dr Laurent Courbin – CNRS, France
– Dr Chinedum Osuji – Yale University, USA
– Dr Kevin Cavicchi – The University of Akron, USA
– Dr Alejandro Rey – McGill University, Canada

We would like to say a massive thank you to these reviewers as well as the Soft Matter board and all of the soft matter community for their continued support of the journal, as authors, reviewers and readers.

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Soft interfacial materials: from fundamentals to formulation

Cover image - Courtesy of N. J. Brooks.

Royal Society Publishing has recently published a special issue of Philosophical Transactions A entitled Soft interfacial materials: from fundamentals to formulation.

The collection was organised and edited by Michael Cates, John Seddon, Nicholas Brooks, Paul Clegg and Alex Lips. who wrote an Introduction piece.

This themed issue reports papers presented at a Discussion Meeting intended not only to address the fundamental science, focusing on generic design principles for self-organisation and interfacial structure, but also to explore the resulting prospects for ‘informed formulation’ of new and improved industrial products.


This issue is available to read online, including the Introduction which is free to access:

Introduction:

Soft interfacial materials: from fundamentals to formulation
N. J. Brooks, M. E. Cates, P. S. Clegg, A. Lips, W. C. K. Poon, J. M. Seddon


Research articles:

– Non-ionic surfactant phase diagram prediction by recursive partitioning
Gordon Bell

The physics of stratum corneum lipid membranes
Chinmay Das, Peter D. Olmsted

Lipid self-assembled structures for reactivity control in food
L. Sagalowicz, C. Moccand, T. Davidek, R. Ghanbari, I. Martiel, R. Negrini, R. Mezzenga, M. E. Leser, I. Blank, M. Michel

– Exploring the in meso crystallization mechanism by characterizing the lipid mesophase microenvironment during the growth of single transmembrane α-helical peptide crystals
Leonie van ‘t Hag, Konstantin Knoblich, Shane A. Seabrook, Nigel M. Kirby, Stephen T. Mudie, Deborah Lau, Xu Li, Sally L. Gras, Xavier Mulet, Matthew E. Call, Melissa J. Call, Calum J. Drummond, Charlotte E. Conn

Determining drug release rates of hydrophobic compounds from nanocarriers
Suzanne M. D’Addio, Abdallah A. Bukari, Mohammed Dawoud, Heike Bunjes, Carlos Rinaldi, Robert K. Prud’homme

Arrested coalescence of viscoelastic droplets: polydisperse doublets
Prerna Dahiya, Marco Caggioni, Patrick T. Spicer

A phenomenological description of BslA assemblies across multiple length scales
Ryan J. Morris, Keith M. Bromley, Nicola Stanley-Wall, Cait E. MacPhee

Some modification of cellulose nanocrystals for functional Pickering emulsions
Dorra Saidane, Emilie Perrin, Fanch Cherhal, Florian Guellec, Isabelle Capron

Manufacture of poly(methyl methacrylate) microspheres using membrane emulsification
Jaiyana Bux, Mohamed S. Manga, Timothy N. Hunter, Simon Biggs


Review articles:

Cationic liposome–nucleic acid nanoparticle assemblies with applications in gene delivery and gene silencing
Ramsey N. Majzoub, Kai K. Ewert, Cyrus R. Safinya

Physical basis of some membrane shaping mechanisms
Mijo Simunovic, Coline Prévost, Andrew Callan-Jones, Patricia Bassereau

Soft electrostatic repulsion in particle monolayers at liquid interfaces: surface pressure and effect of aggregation
Peter A. Kralchevsky, Krassimir D. Danov, Plamen V. Petkov

Curvature-driven assembly in soft matter
Iris B. Liu, Nima Sharifi-Mood, Kathleen J. Stebe


Opinion piece:

Self-assembly of small peptide amphiphiles, the structures formed and their applications. (A foods and home and personal care perspective)
W. J. Frith


We hope you enjoy reading this collection.

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Glass transition in ant traffic jams

Inspired by the fluid-like motion of flocks of birds, researchers in the US have used techniques from soft matter physics to study the way that fire ants move.

At high density collective ant flow can be described by the physics of glass-forming soft materials © Shutterstock

Collective motion is ubiquitous in nature. Fire ants in particular provide a fascinating case study due to the confinement enforced by the foraging tunnels in which they move. A key factor in the motion of fire ants, and other eusocial insects, is the requirement to stop and communicate with each other, leading to traffic jams and blockages along the 50m long underground superhighways in which they travel.

To read the full article visit Chemistry World.

Glass-like dynamics in confined and congested ant traffic
Nick Gravish, Gregory Gold, Andrew Zangwill, Michael A.D. Goodisman and Daniel I Goldman  
Soft Matter, 2015, Accepted Manuscript
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM00693G, Paper

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Caddisfly silk gets shocked into self-recovery

The tough, extendable, energy-dissipating properties of the casemaker caddisfly’s adhesive silk are down to a self-recovering network of calcium crosslinks, new research shows. US researchers behind the discovery hope to harness these findings to design new synthetic bioadhesives that can adhere to wet tissues.

Images (l and m) of silk holding together glass beads in the same way that silk and stones combine to make the body armour (r)

To read the full article visit Chemistry World.

Self-recovering caddisfly silk: energy dissipating, Ca2+-dependent, double dynamic network fibers
Nicholas N. Ashton and Russell J. Stewart  
Soft Matter, 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4SM02435D, Paper

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Soft Matter Welcomes New Associate Editor Dimitris Vlassopoulos

We are delighted to welcome our newest Soft Matter Associate Editor: Professor Dimitris Vlassopoulos (University of Crete, Greece).

Dimitris is a leading expert in polymer rheology and has published over 160 papers. His research focuses on soft matter physics and engineering problems with specific interests in molecular rheology and rheo-physics in the bulk and at liquid interfaces, architecturally complex polymers, and soft colloids.

Dimitris also brings a wealth of previous editorial experience to the Soft Matter team; we are delighted to have him board.

To find out more about Dimitris’ research, take a look at this recent paper:

Molecular rheology of branched polymers: decoding and exploring the role of architectural dispersity through a synergy of anionic synthesis, interaction chromatography, rheometry and modeling
Evelyn van Ruymbeke, Hyojoon Lee, Taihyun Chang, Anastasia Nikopoulou, Nikos Hadjichristidis, Frank Snijkers, Dimitris Vlassopoulos

And a Soft Matter issue dedicated to the theme of ‘Bridging the gap between soft and hard colloids’ of which Dimtris was a Guest Editor along with Professor Michel Cloitre

As a Soft Matter Associate Editor, Dimitris will be handling submissions to the journal. Why not submit your next paper to his Editorial Office?
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