Soft Matter: Fundamental and Applied Aspects


This course provides you with the basic concepts and research methods in soft matter physical chemistry. Topics covered include: structural, thermodynamic and dynamical properties of amphiphilic molecules, macromolecules, gels, colloids, and liquid crystals. One overall goal of the сourse is to probe and understand the relationship between nano-scale matter and macro-scale properties. The materials under study include both natural, synthetic and biological materials, while the research interests are very broad ranging from fundamental physics to technological applications. Selected research topics in the frontiers of soft matter research, such as active matter and living matter, will be discussed in the form of group seminars. Principles of some of the major experimental techniques used in soft matter research will also be discussed at practicum.

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

1. Apply theoretical approaches todesign molecules that assemble into a desired nanostructure;

2. Predict the influence of changes in the structure of molecules on their self-assembly behavior;

3. Estimate the influence of the structure of soft materials on their properties;

4. Design colloids with a tunable interparticle interaction;

5. Design microscopic materials made from colloidal buildling blocks;

6. Use physical chemistry methods to study the behavior of soft materials