Dr. Ashis Mukhopadhyay
Department of Physics
Wayne State University
Fluctuations in Soft Matter: From Single-Molecules to Ensemble
Monday, October 27, 2008
Soft materials are familiar in everyday life with applications ranging from impressive nanodevices to understanding of biological processes. These materials tend to be disordered, slow to relax and literally soft so that even thermal fluctuations can strongly influence their structure and dynamics. I will present results from our recent work on these systems, which utilizes both single-molecule and ensemble-averaged measurements. Specifically, (i) I will show how the conformation of a polymer chain is affected near the critical point of a liquid mixture as an example of multi-component systems. (ii) I will present results on the surface dynamics of polymer films as an example of system, which is disordered and out-of-equilibrium. (iii) Finally, I will show situations, where a liquid behaves as a “half-liquid”. This is an example of materials science application of intentionally modifying the arrangement of molecules and thus its physical properties by using a solid substrate.