About us

January 5th, 2012

Welcome to the home page of the Soft Matter Theory and Simulations Group of the University of Patras.

The Group at University of Patras has a long experience in theory and computer simulation studies, ranging from molecular up to mesoscopic scale, of anisotropic soft matter. The group includes scientists from the Departments of Materials Science and Physics with extensive contributions in the fields of liquid crystals, polymeric interfaces, molecular self organization and self assembly of complex molecules/particles (low molar mass mesogens, dendrimers and dendronised polymers, colloids, fullerene containing liquid crystals). Along with the theoretical investigations the experimental research of the team in liquid crystals includes electro-optic, dielectric and alignment studies. More recently, the team has extended its research activity to metamaterials and photonic materials by bottom-up self-organization of metal nanoparticles with the help of liquid crystals and/or complex macromolecules. The group has longstanding international collaborations with established research groups in the fields of liquid crystals, polymers and recently in the field of metamaterials. During the last ten years the team participates continuously in international collaborative research projects.

The senior members of the group are actively involved in the teaching and research supervision of graduate students in the Postgraduate Studies Program of the Department of Materials Science,  and in the inter-departmental Postgraduate Program of Polymer Science and Technology, run jointly by the Departments of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science and Physics. Presently the group includes three Phd students and four post doctoral researchers (Dr. S. Peroukidis (molecular simulations of liquid crystals), Dr. S. Droulias (molecular field theories of the molecular organization), Dr. N. Fytas (optical properties of metal nanoparticles in anisotropic enviroments) and Dr. Th. Kallos (modeling of light propagation in complex devices).

Available facilities related to the theoretical and experimental research of the team include: Linux Beowulf Clusters for parallel computation; polarizing optical microscope with temperature control; DSC; dielectric spectroscopy; AFM, SEM.

Ongoing research activities cover molecular theory and computer simulation studies of:

  • specific molecular interactions and polymorphism of small molar mass liquid crystals
  • molecular modeling and phenomenology of tilted smectics and ferroelectric liquid crystals
  • biaxial nematics
  • fullerene containing liquid crystals
  • massive molecular flexibility in liquid crystalline oligomers and dendrimers
  • structure and nanomechanics of dendronised polymers
  • novel ordered fluid phases based on molecular shape non convexity
  • self-assembly properties of Janus particles, 2D nanopatterning
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