It will take place on Tuesday, February 8, 2022, 4 pm (CET) on Zoom:
A theory of entropic bonding
Many atomic and molecular crystal structures – made possible by chemical bonds – can now be realized at larger length and time scales for nanoparticles and colloids via physical bonds, including entropic bonds. The structural similarities between colloidal crystals and atomic crystals suggest that they should be describable within analogous, though different, conceptual frameworks. In particular, like the chemical bonds that hold atoms together in crystals, the statistical, emergent, entropic forces that hold hard colloidal particles together in colloidal crystals should be describable using the language of bonding. In this talk, we present a microscopic, mean-field theory of entropic bonding that permits prediction of colloidal crystals in a way that is mathematically analogous to the first principles prediction of atomic crystals by solving Schrödinger’s equation or variants thereof. We show how solutions to the theory are facilitated by the use of mathematically constructed shape orbitals analogous to atomic orbitals, using the same algorithms used in modern electronic structure codes for atomic crystal prediction.
About the speaker
Sharon C. Glotzer is the Anthony C. Lembke Department Chair of Chemical Engineering, John Werner Cahn Distinguished University Professor of Engineering and the Stuart W. Churchill Collegiate Professor of Chemical Engineering, and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Physics, Applied Physics, and Macromolecular Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She received her B.S. degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her Ph.D. degree from Boston University, both in physics. Prior to joining the University of Michigan in 2001, she worked for eight years at the National Institute of Standards and Technology where she was co-founder and Director of the NIST Center for Theoretical and Computational Materials Science.
Professor Glotzer’s research on computational assembly science and engineering aims toward predictive materials design of colloidal and soft matter, and is sponsored by the NSF, DOE, DOD and Simons Foundation. Among her notable findings, Glotzer’s introduction of the notion of “patchy particles,” a conceptual approach to nanoparticle design, has informed wide-ranging investigations of self-assembly. She showed that entropy alone can assemble shapes into many structures, which has implications for materials science, thermodynamics, mathematics, and nanotechnology. Her group’s “shape space diagram” shows how matter self-organizes based on the shapes of the constituent elements, making it possible to predict what kind of material—glass, crystal, liquid crystal, plastic crystal, or quasicrystal—will emerge. Glotzer runs a large computational research group of 30 students, postdocs, and research staff, and has published over 270 refereed papers and presented over 300 plenary, keynote and invited talks around the world.
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