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Tunable Strong Coupling Phenomena at Atomistic Level (TUSCOPAL)
Date du début: 9 sept. 2013, Date de fin: 8 sept. 2016 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

"Understanding the dynamics of fundamental strong coupling processes such as crystallization (liquid-solid phase transition) and glass transition (metastable, supercooled liquid-glassy state phase transition) at the individual particle level is of great importance in interdisciplinary research combining physics, chemistry and biology. Colloids are the best model systems to investigate these processes, but most of the relevant works have been performed with hard sphere model of the interacting particles. The goal of this project is to explore the universal phase diagram of such processes for different interaction potentials: from ultra-soft to hard sphere or from repulsive to attractive, etc. The experiments will be performed at Harvard University, USA (Outgoing host). The soft PNIPAM microgel particles will be synthesized using microfluidic technique. The interaction potential of these particles can be tuned by changing the surrounding temperature. Then dedicated experiments will be performed on crystallization and glass transition using confocal microscope and particle tracking techniques. On his return to Heinrich Heine University, Germany (Incoming host in Europe), the fellow will be trained to develop complementary theoretical and numerical models (Brownian dynamics for colloids and Molecular dynamics for complex plasmas). Additionally, he will try to explore complementarity of complex plasmas and colloids.The fellow is a member of “European Soft Matter Infrastructure (ESMI)”. He is an expert on complex plasma research, which shares complementary features with colloids. The proposed project will help him to gain expertise on colloids. In future he will emerge as one of very few scientists in Europe who will have expertise on both subjects. The fellow will also be trained with teaching activities, complementary skills, knowledge and technology transfer know-how to Europe, which will help Europe to remain at the frontier of this fundamental research area."