Faraday Discussion 144: Multiscale Modelling of Soft Matter
20 - 22 July 2009
University of Groningen, The Netherlands
However, beyond the 'single molecule picture', there are a series of problems where traditional modelling techniques contribute little to chemical understanding.
This has led to the development of techniques for multi-scale modelling: crossing the boundaries from atomistic studies of relatively small systems (~10 nm or smaller, < 1 microsecond), to tackle larger systems where the properties of interest can only be studied at longer distances (~ 100 nm or larger) and longer time-scales (> 1 microsecond).
Modelling on these scales facilitates the study of a series of phenomena:
- Self-assembly processes in micelles
- Vesicles and membranes
- Phase transitions between mesophases
- Self-organisation of supramolecular assemblies
- Structural transitions and dynamical processes in colloidal dispersions
Many of the ideas of multiscale modelling cross traditional boundaries. For example the design of new nanostructured soft materials borrows heavily from biology, from liquid crystals and from polymers, by using molecular interactions to engineer microphase separation and form well-ordered nano-domains.
The following themes were included in the discussion:
- Polymers: including microphase separation and self-assembly
- Colloids: including the prediction of phases and phase diagrams
- Mesophases: including liquid crystals, novel phases, self-assembled structures and the links between molecular structure and bulk properties
- Membranes: including collective processes in lipid and surfactant systems
- Methodology for multiscale simulations: including methods for moving between scales and for bridging different time and length scales
Faraday Discussion 144 was organised by the Faraday Division. It provided an opportunity to bring together people from different (but overlapping) fields of modelling and the cross-fertilization of ideas from bio-simulation, materials modelling, liquid crystals and colloids will produce significant added value.
Mark Wilson (Durham University, UK (Chair))
Mike Allen (University of Warwick, UK)
George Jackson (Imperial College London, UK)
Siewert-Jan Marrink (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)
Mark Sansom (University of Oxford, UK)
Doros Theodorou (National Technical University of Athens, Greece)
We would like to thank Unilever, the Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics Group (SMTG) of the RSC, the Liquids and Complex Fluids Group (LCFG) of the Institute of Physics (IOP) and the British Liquid Crystal Society for their sponsorship support of this Faraday Discussion.
Download the programme for FD144
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