Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

5th International Conference on Self-Healing Materials 2015 Oral Presentation Prize winner

Soft Matter oral presentation prize icshm2015

A huge congratulations to Arn Mignon who was awarded the Soft Matter Oral Presentation Prize at the 5th International Conference on Self-Healing Materials (ICSHM2015). The conference took place on the 22 – 24 June 2015 in Durham, USA and was sponsored by Soft Matter.

Arn Mignon is from Ghent University and won the Soft Matter Oral Presentation Prize with his talk titled “Smart super absorbent polymers for self-healing of motar.”

ICSHM2015 focussed on the newly emerging field of self-healing biomaterials, encompassing all classes of self-healing materials including polymers, ceramics, metals, and composites, as well as biomedical implants. Further details about the conference can be found by taking a look at their website.

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Soft Matter’s 2014 Impact Factor is 4.029

Soft Matter is delighted to announce its 2014 Impact Factor is 4.029.

Soft Matter has been dedicated to fundamental soft matter research at the interface of physics, chemistry and biology for the last 10 years. Its impressive Impact Factor of 4.029 is a strong assurance that Soft Matter is a leading journal within the soft matter field.

Our celebratory 10 year Anniversary collection exemplifies the kind of high impact, multidisciplinary soft matter science that Soft Matter aims to publish.

Our fast times to publication ensure that your research is reviewed and announced to the community rapidly.

From receipt, youresearch papers will be published in 63 days. (Data taken from average manuscript handling times between January – April 2015)

Publishing your research in Soft Matter means that your article will be read and cited by your colleagues.

Our unique combination of high quality articles, outstanding Editorial and Advisory Board, free colour and flexible manuscript format make it clear to see why Soft Matter is the leading journal within the soft matter field.

Our articles encompass a wide range of soft matter research and this is highlighted in these recent Soft Matter articles:

Stretching self-entangled DNA molecules in elongational fields
C. Benjamin Renner and Patrick S. Doyle
Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 3105-3114

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
Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 3971-3976

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
Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 3963-3970

Anisotropic colloidal transport and periodic stick-slip motion in cholesteric finger textures
Kui Chen, Linnea P. Metcalf, David P. Rivas, Daniel H. Reich and Robert L. Leheny
Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 4189-4196

Phase separation in ternary fluid mixtures: a molecular dynamics study
Awaneesh Singh and Sanjay Puri
Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 2213-2219

Self-assembly of Janus particles under shear
Emanuela Bianchi, Athanassios Z. Panagiotopoulos and Arash Nikoubashman
Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 3767-3771

So join the many leading scientists that have already chosen to publish in Soft Matter and submit today!

Submit your research
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Recent Appointees in Materials Science 2015 Conference (RAMS2015)

Recent Appointees in Materials Science 2015 Conference RAMS

We are delighted to announce that the Recent Appointees in Materials Science 2015 Conference (RAMS2015) will be held at the University of Warwick on 16-17th September 2015.

Deadlines and dates

Registration will open shortly so be sure to sign up to this essential meeting before 1st September 2015! The cost of registration is £125 for accommodation and meals, including the conference banquet at Warwick Castle. A reduced rate of £70 is offered for those not requiring accommodation.

Abstract submissions are now being accepted for oral and poster presentation but make sure you submit your abstracts by the deadline on 30th June 2015.

Bursaries

A small number of bursaries are available for those with limited travel budgets and will be assessed on an individual basis. Enquire about bursaries here.

Keynote speakers

Biomaterials Science Advisory Board member Andrew Dove (University of Warwick) will be speaking along with other keynote speakers Aron Walsh (University of Bath) and Mary Ryan (Imperial College London). View the full list of invited speakers here.

For full details visit the RAMS2015 website. We hope you can join the materials science community for this fantastic event.

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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 was presented with his 2015 Soft Matter Lectureship award at the end of his talk at the SoftComp Topical Workshop – Dense Suspension Flow held at the University of Edinburgh on 1-3 June 2015 by Soft Matter Associate Editor Dimitris Vlassopoulos.

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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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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Leading Article by Soft Matter 2014 Lectureship Winner

Surface tension and the mechanics of liquid inclusions in compliant solids

Robert W. Style, John S. Wettlaufer, and Eric R. Dufresne

Dufresne et al. graphical abstract

This article proposes a theory of fluid inclusions in soft solids and builds upon experimental findings of a previous paper recently published in Nature Physics – “Stiffening solids with liquid inclusions” doi:10.1038/nphys3181 – which revealed that Eshelby’s foundational theory fails to describe the mechanical response of soft composites. Eshelby’s theory of elastic inclusions is significantly cited and outlines the response of microscopic inclusions within an elastic solid when macroscopically stress is applied. Furthermore, Eshelby’s theory allows the prediction of bulk properties and is fundamental in calculating the stress field in fracture mechanics. It has been widely used in many other areas such as cell biology to predict cell interactions and seismology.

The theoretical study aims to rationalise the experimental results from the previous paper and explain that they were due to the surface tension of the solid-liquid interface, which is completely ignored in established theory.

The work expands previous theories based on strain-dependent surface stresses, relevant to nanoinclusions in stiffer materials, but not for softer materials such as gels.

The group adapted Eshelby’s inclusion theory so that it included surface tension for liquid inclusions in a linear elastic solid, giving both the microscopic behaviour and the macroscopic effects of inclusions in composites. The authors believe that these findings can be applied to a wide variety of soft material systems, especially composites comprising of soft materials such as gels and elastomers.

Full citation information:

Surface tension and the mechanics of liquid inclusions in compliant solids
Robert W. Style, John S. Wettlaufer and Eric R. Dufresne
Soft Matter, 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4SM02413C

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Take 1…minute for chemistry in health

The chemical sciences will be fundamental in helping us meet the healthcare challenges of the future, and we are committed to ensuring that they contribute to their full potential. As part of our work in this area, we are inviting undergraduate and PhD students, post-docs and those starting out their career in industry to produce an original video that demonstrates the importance of chemistry in health.Take 1... minute for chemistry in health

We are looking for imaginative ways of showcasing how chemistry helps us address healthcare challenges. Your video should be no longer than 1 minute, and you can use any approach you like.

The winner will receive a £500 cash prize, with a £250 prize for second place and £150 prize for third place up for grabs too.

Stuck for inspiration? Last year’s winning video is a good place to start. John Gleeson’s video was selected based on the effective use of language, dynamic style, creativity and its accurate content.

The closing date for entries to be submitted is 30 January 2015. Our judging panel will select the top five videos. We will then publish the shortlisted videos online and open the judging to the public to determine the winner and the runners up.

For more details on how to enter the competition and who is eligible, join us at the Take 1… page.

Good luck!

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A simple route to responsive, particle-stabilized foams using bare silica nanoparticles

Web writer Rob Woodward highlights a hot article from the journal


Defined as bubbles of gas in liquid-film matrix, foams are important precursors in the food and cosmetic industry and for the production of macroporous materials. In this report a simple, effective route to silica nanoparticle stabilised responsive aqueous foams has been demonstrated by the Binks group. Stimuli-responsive surface active particles have generated growing interest in recent years, utilising triggers including pH, temperature and light irradiation to create ‘switchable’ foams, i.e. the ability to “switch-off” the foaming capability of the particles. However, the production of responsive surface active particles usually involves surface coating of mineral particles or the complicated synthesis of functional polymer particles.

In order to address this problem Binks et al. utilise the interaction of N’-dodecyl-N,N-dimethylacetamidinium bicarbonate, a responsive surfactant, with anionic silica nanoparticles in water. By exposure to either CO2 or N2 the responsive surfactant can be switched between a cationic species and a surface-inactive neural form, respectively. On the formation of the cationic species, complexation of the surfactant to anionic silica nanoparticle surfaces gives an in situ increase in the hydrophobicity of the silica, yielding surface-active nanoparticles. Agitation of the resulting complexed system gives foams, however, on exposure to N2 the responsive surfactant returns to its neutral state and desorbs from the surface of the silica particles, resulting in desorption of the particles from the water-air interface.

This simple route to switchable particle-stabilized aqueous foams removes the need for the complicated synthesis of particles as ‘bare’ silica nanoparticles can be used. The synergistic effect of the responsive surfactant and the nanoparticles also allows for the production of foams using a much lower concentration of surfactant than in a responsive-surfactant system alone.

Micrographs of the bubbles in foams produced by shaking 10 cm3 of a dispersion of 0.5 wt% particles in a surfactant solution at different concentrations in bottles (25 cm3) taken immediately after shaking. Surfactant concentrations from A to F are: 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.6, 1.0 and 2.0 mM.

To find out more read the full article:

Responsive aqueous foams stabilised by silica nanoparticles hydrophobised in situ with a switchable surfactant

Yue Zhu, Jianzhong Jiang, Zhenggang Cui and Bernie Binks

Soft Matter, 2014, Accepted Manuscript

DOI: 10.1039/C4SM01970A

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 now indexed in Medline!

We are delighted to announce that Soft Matter has been accepted for inclusion in the prestigious MEDLINE abstracting / indexing service.

All articles published in Soft Matter will now be included, and searchable using PubMed. This will provide even greater visibility to the great research being published in the journal, particularly in the bio/medical communities.

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Happy holidays from Soft Matter!

All of us in the Soft Matter Editorial team would like to wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year! The Editorial office will be closed from 24th December 2013 and will reopen on 2nd January 2014.

We’re really looking forward to 2014, which will see some great themed issues in Soft Matter as well as the 2014 Soft Matter Lectureship (opening for nominations early in the year).

Don’t miss out on all the journal news – follow us on twitter @softmatter and like us on Facebook!

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