CAM Colloquium: Julia Dshemuchadse (MSE, Cornell) - Soft-matter self-assembly: simple particles, complex crystal structures


Frank H. T. Rhodes Hall 655


Self-assembly processes in soft condensed matter have been leading to the discovery of a variety of ordered structures. Mesoscale building blocks such as nanoparticles, colloids, or micelles often form simple packings, but a growing number of increasingly complex structures are now being discovered. We investigate the variety of crystal structures stabilized by minimalistic particle models via numerical simulations and examine the robustness of their structure formation. Hard anisotropic shapes or isotropic particles that interact with multi-well pair potentials can form structures that correspond to atomistic systems with various types of chemical bonding, but we also observe particle arrangements without any atomic-scale equivalents. We study the structural behavior of different types of simple particles, as well as the process of crystal growth, with the goal to provide design targets for soft materials with new properties. By investigating these behaviors and features in abstract systems, we aim to deduce overarching rules of structure formation in order to identify fundamental principles of the emergence of order in condensed matter.

Dr. Dshemuchadse received her Diploma degree in Physics from TU Dresden, Germany, and her PhD in Materials Science from ETH Zurich, Switzerland. In her doctoral work she investigated structural principles of complex intermetallic compounds with crystallographic methods and data mining. As a postdoctoral researcher Dr. Dshemuchadse joined the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor on a fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation and performed computational research of the self-assembly behavior of soft matter. Dr. Dshemuchadse joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Cornell University as an Assistant Professor in 2019. Her group studies abstract model systems to discover fundamental principles of crystal structure formation and stability. Dr. Dshemuchadse earned the Max-von-Laue award from the German Crystallographic Society in 2015 and an Outstanding Postdoctoral Fellow Award of the University of Michigan in 2016. She co-authored a book entitled “Intermetallics – Structures, Properties, and Statistics”, published in 2016 by Oxford University Press.