Physical Chemistry

Lund University

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Anisotropic Forces in Colloid Chemistry

The main objective of this multi-investigator project is to explore generic phenomena caused by anisotropic colloidal interactions in dense suspensions. Such interactions are of great relevance in as disperse fields as materials science, nanotechnology and many branches of molecular biology. This objective will be accomplished by engineering, synthesizing and assembling concentrated soft matter systems of both artificial and biological origin, which will then be measured and analyzed using state of the art experimental and theoretical tools. The main emphasis is on dynamic properties, where there is a clear lack of knowledge in a rapidly expanding area of science.  We focus on 3 main goals: (i) to understand how anisotropic inter-particle interactions influence the self-assembly and diffusion of complex colloidal particles in dense suspensions; (ii) to understand and exploit anisotropic interactions of particles, of synthetic or biological origin, with lipid membranes; and (iii) to use the thus generated knowledge to unravel generic features of the dynamics of macromolecules and particles of biological origin in dense solutions such as those found in the interior of living cells. The project combines several parallel research efforts connecting systems of synthetic and biological origin to highlight features of general applicability, and is also based on an extensive international collaboration involving several key research groups. We combine the toolbox of experimental and theoretical colloid chemistry with state-of-the-art characterization techniques, computer simulations and molecular biology methodologies.

People: co-PI’s: Johan Bergenholtz, Jerôme Crassous, Per Linse, Ulf Olsson, Peter Schurtenberger, Emma Sparr, Anna Stradner, Håkan Wennerström; international collaborators: Jan Dhont (Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany), Gerhard Gompper (Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany), Christos Likos (University of Vienna, Austria), Albert Philipse (University of Utrecht, Netherlands), George Thurston (Rochester Institute of Technology, USA).

Contact person: Peter Schurtenberger