Research

Research areas

  • Soft matter physics and biophysics
  • Active and passive colloidal particles
  • Microscopc derivation of field theories
    (microscopic equations of motion -> mesoscopic field theory -> macroscopic field theory)
  • Classical dynamical density functional theory
  • Phase field crystal models
  • ...

Projects

Complex fluids

… [This page is still under construction.] ...

Colloidal particles

Active colloidal particles

Active colloidal particles are nanometer or micrometer particles which possess an internal propulsion mechanism and can thus – like a nano- or micro-submarine – move autonomously in liquids. Examples of active colloidal particles are swimming micro-organisms, e. g. many species of archaea, bacteria and protozoa. However, there are also some early technical realizations of self-propelled nanometer and micrometer particles. We study the motion of these particles and how it can be controlled. This is very interesting not only for biology, but also in light of future applications of artificially produced active colloidal particles. Among the most important areas with possible future applications is nano-medicine. The particles could be used like remote-controlled nano- or micro-submarines in the body and e. g. deliver pharmaceutical agents to a specific target and release them. However, a lot of research and development will yet be necessary until the realization of such applications. (Results)

Colloidal liquid crystals

Active colloidal liquid crystals

Suspensions of anisometric active colloidal particles are also called active colloidal liquid crystals. An important feature of active colloidal liquid crystals is that they are permanently away from thermodynamic equilibrium due to the propulsion mechanism of the active colloidal particles. This renders their behavior much more complicated and versatile than that of ordinary colloidal liquid crystals which do not possess an internal propulsion mechanism. Because of this, active colloidal liquid crystals are very interesting for statistical physics. But they are also of importance for, among others, materials science, since they constitute novel materials with extraordinary properties through their unique behavior. In order to contribute to the realization of such active materials in the future, we study the properties of active colloidal liquid crystals and how they can be controlled. (Results)

Classical dynamical density functional theory

Phase field crystal models

Further projects

Methods

Part of our work is the derivation of models and physical laws, generalization of theories, development of new methods and analysis of the fundamental equations of new models and theories. We also utilize computer simulations. In this way, many analytical and numerical methods are employed in our work. As complement, we collaborate with experimenters.