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Soft Matter

Arthur A Evans, Elliott Cheung, Kendra D Nyberg, Amy C Rowat
Wrinkling of thin films and membranes can occur due to various mechanisms such as growth and/or mismatch between the mechanical properties of the film and substrate. However, the physical origins of dynamic wrinkling in soft membranes are still not fully understood. Here we use milk skin as a tractable experimental system to investigate the physics of wrinkle formation in a thin, poroelastic film. Upon heating milk, a micron-thick hydrogel of denatured proteins and fat globules forms at the air-water interface...
January 13, 2017: Soft Matter
Alexander Schmeink, Lucas Goehring, Arnaud Hemmerle
We study experimentally the fracture mechanisms of a model cohesive granular medium consisting of glass beads held together by solidified polymer bridges. The elastic response of this material can be controlled by changing the cross-linking of the polymer phase, for example. Here we show that its fracture toughness can be tuned over an order of magnitude by adjusting the stiffness and size of the polymer bridges. We extract a well-defined fracture energy from fracture testing under a range of material preparations...
January 13, 2017: Soft Matter
Jonathan Tammo Siebert, Janina Letz, Thomas Speck, Peter Virnau
In this paper we provide high precision estimates of the phase diagram of active Brownian particles. We extract coexisting densities from simulations of phase separated states in an elongated box (slab geometry) which minimizes finite-size effects and allows for precise determination of points on the binodal lines. Using this method, we study the influence of both shape and dimensionality on the two-phase region. Active spheres and dimers of active particles are compared to the known phase diagram of active Brownian disks...
January 13, 2017: Soft Matter
Lingling Ge, Jingjing Li, Songtao Zhong, Yue Sun, Stig E Friberg, Rong Guo
Single, Janus, and Cerberus emulsions are prepared in one system consisting of three oils: silicone (SO), fluorocarbon (FO) and ethoxylated trimethylolpropane triacrylate (ETPTA) with mutual solubility. An aqueous solution of Pluronic F127, which is an poly(ethylene oxide)/poly(propylene oxide) co-polymer of average composition EO97PO68EO97, was employed as the continuous phase. The three-dimensional phase diagram of the oils was determined, and different oil compositions within the various regions of the phase diagram were emulsified by one-step vortex mixing with an F127 aqueous solution...
January 13, 2017: Soft Matter
Emily C Barker, Adam D Martin, Christopher J Garvey, Ching Yong Goh, Franca Jones, Mauro Mocerino, Brian W Skelton, Mark I Ogden, Thomas Becker
The thermal annealing behaviour of an electrolyte-triggered calixarene hydrogelator is found to depend strongly on the specific metal chloride used. While the lithium chloride gel showed typical gel-sol transitions as a function of temperature, the magnesium chloride gel was found to repeatedly strengthen with heat-cool cycles. Structural investigations using small-angle neutron scattering, and scanning probe microscopy, suggest that the annealing behaviour is associated with a change in morphology of the fibrous structures supporting the gel...
January 13, 2017: Soft Matter
Yohai Bar-Sinai, Eran Bouchbinder
Inhomogeneous polymers, such as partially cofilin-bound actin filaments, play an important role in various natural and biotechnological systems. At finite temperatures, inhomogeneous polymers exhibit non-trivial thermal fluctuations. More broadly, these are relatively simple examples of fluctuations in spatially inhomogeneous systems, which are less understood compared to their homogeneous counterparts. Here we develop a statistical theory of torsional, extensional and bending Gaussian fluctuations of inhomogeneous polymers (chains), where the inhomogeneity is an inclusion of variable size and stiffness, using both continuum and discrete approaches...
January 13, 2017: Soft Matter
Xuefeng Li, Qian Yang, Youjiao Zhao, Shijun Long, Jie Zheng
Toughness and self-healing properties are desirable characteristics in engineered hydrogels used for many practical applications. However, it is still challenging to develop hydrogels exhibiting both of these attractive properties in a single material. In this work, we present the fabrication of fully physically-linked Agar/PAAc-Fe(3+) DN gels. These hydrogels exhibited dual physical crosslinking through a hydrogen bonded crosslinked agar network firstly, and a physically linked PAAc-Fe(3+) network via Fe(3+) coordination interactions secondly...
January 12, 2017: Soft Matter
Matthew Andrew, Julia M Yeomans, Dmitri O Pushkin
We introduce a solvable Lagrangian model for droplet bouncing. The model predicts that, for an axisymmetric drop, the contact time decreases to a constant value with increasing Weber number, in qualitative agreement with experiments, because the system is well approximated as a simple harmonic oscillator. We introduce asymmetries in the velocity, initial droplet shape, and contact line drag acting on the droplet and show that asymmetry can often lead to a reduced contact time and lift-off in an elongated shape...
January 12, 2017: Soft Matter
Marko Pavlovic, Paul Rouster, Elodie Bourgeat-Lami, Vanessa Prevot, Istvan Szilagyi
Colloidal stability of polymeric latex particles was studied in the presence of oppositely charged layered double hydroxide (LDH) platelets of different interlayer anions. Adsorption of the LDH particles led to charge neutralization and to overcharging of the latex at appropriate concentrations. Mixing stable colloidal suspensions of individual particles results in rapid aggregation once the LDH adsorption neutralizes the negative charges of the polymer spheres, while stable suspensions were observed at high and low LDH doses...
January 12, 2017: Soft Matter
Dino Osmanović, Yitzhak Rabin
We consider how active forces modeled as non-thermal random noise affect the average dynamical properties of a Rouse polymer. As the power spectrum of the noise is not known we keep the analytical treatment as generic as possible and then present results for a few examples of active noise. We discuss the connection between our results and recent experimental studies of dynamics of labeled DNA telomeres in living cells, and propose new chromatin tracking experiments that will allow one to determine the statistical properties of the active forces associated with chromatin remodeling processes...
January 12, 2017: Soft Matter
Lalit Bansal, Suman Chakraborty, Saptarshi Basu
Evaporation of sessile droplets has been a topic of extensive research. However, the effect of confinement on the underlying dynamics has not been well explored. Here, we report the evaporation dynamics of a sessile droplet in a confined fluidic environment. Our findings reveal that an increase in the channel length delays the completion of the evaporation process and leads to unique spatio-temporal evaporation flux and internal flow. The evaporation modes (constant contact angle and constant contact radius) during the droplet lifetime however exhibit global similarity when normalized by appropriate length and timescales...
January 12, 2017: Soft Matter
Joonwoo Jeong, Yigil Cho, Su Yeon Lee, Xingting Gong, Randall D Kamien, Shu Yang, A G Yodh
Thin films that exhibit spatially heterogeneous swelling often buckle into the third dimension to minimize stress. These effects, in turn, offer a promising strategy to fabricate complex three-dimensional structures from two-dimensional sheets. Here we employ surface topography as a new means to guide buckling of swollen polymer bilayer films and thereby control the morphology of resulting three-dimensional objects. Topographic patterns are created on poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) films selectively coated with a thin layer of non-swelling parylene on different sides of the patterned films...
January 12, 2017: Soft Matter
Francesco Mancarella, John S Wettlaufer
The importance of surface tension effects is being recognized in the context of soft composite solids, where they are found to significantly affect the mechanical properties, such as the elastic response to an external stress. It has recently been discovered that Eshelby's inclusion theory breaks down when the inclusion size approaches the elastocapillary length L ≡ γ/E, where γ is the inclusion/host surface tension and E is the host Young's modulus. Extending our recent results for liquid inclusions, here we model the elastic behavior of a non-dilute distribution of isotropic elastic spherical inclusions in a soft isotropic elastic matrix, subject to a prescribed infinitesimal far-field loading...
January 12, 2017: Soft Matter
Feng Li, Dejun Sun, Tao Wu, Yujiang Li
In this work, aggregation and deposition of in situ formed magnesium hydroxide (IFM) in the presence of hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM) were investigated. Relative concentrations of interactants, as well as other experimental conditions, were changed to elucidate the interaction mechanisms from microscopic to macroscopic levels. Light scattering measurements were used to investigate the aggregation kinetics, fractal dimension, and collision efficiency of the aggregates on a microscopic level. Electrophoretic mobility and TEM were utilized to measure the charging properties and morphologies of aggregates, respectively...
January 11, 2017: Soft Matter
Ifat Jacob, Eitan Edri, Erel Lasnoy, Silvia Piperno, Hagay Shpaisman
We present a novel concept where optical traps are used to influence an ongoing polymerization process of emulsion droplets. By directed coalescence and partial fusion of intermediate nucleation sites, spherical and elongated colloids with specific dimensions are formed. The strength of this approach lies in its versatility and ease of making various changes to the end product without the need for chemical modifications.
January 11, 2017: Soft Matter
Jean-Mathieu Vanson, Anne Boutin, Michaela Klotz, François-Xavier Coudert
We study here the interplay between transport and adsorption in porous systems with complex geometries under fluid flow. Using a lattice Boltzmann scheme extended to take into account the adsorption at solid/fluid interfaces, we investigate the influence of pore geometry and internal surface roughness on the efficiency of fluid flow and the adsorption of molecular species inside the pore space. We show how the occurrence of roughness on pore walls acts effectively as a modification of the solid/fluid boundary conditions, introducing slippage at the interface...
January 11, 2017: Soft Matter
Manaswee Suttipong, Brian P Grady, Alberto Striolo
Using coarse-grained dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) simulations, we systematically study the effect of surface heterogeneity on surfactant adsorption. Here we investigate the adsorption and aggregation of surfactants on hydrophobic stripes crossing each other perpendicularly (i.e., crossing stripes) and on hydrophobic steps. The results are compared with those obtained for isolated stripes. We find that on crossing stripes of moderate stripe widths (e.g., L = 0.61LS, 1.22LS and 1.83LS, where LS is the length of one surfactant molecule) the crossing region hinders the formation of defect-free adsorbed surfactant structures...
January 11, 2017: Soft Matter
C Buchcic, R H Tromp, M B J Meinders, M A Cohen Stuart
The ability of colloidal particles to penetrate fluid interfaces is a crucial factor in the preparation of particle stabilized disperse systems such as foams and emulsions. For hard micron-sized particles the insertion into fluid interfaces requires substantial energy input, but soft particles are known to adsorb spontaneously. Particle hardness, however, may also affect foam and emulsion stability. The high compliance of soft particles may compromise their ability to withstand the lateral compression associated with disproportionation...
January 11, 2017: Soft Matter
Yang Lai, Yuhang Hu
An oscillation indentation method is developed for characterizing the local poroelastic properties of soft and hydrated materials such as hydrogels and biological tissues. In the dynamic oscillation indentation measurement, an indenter is pressed into the material to a certain depth and held for a period of time. After a plateau of force is reached, an oscillation of small depth is superimposed sweeping through a range of frequencies. The shift between the force and displacement spectra is denoted as the phase lag that characterizes the energy dissipative behavior of the soft hydrated materials due to solvent migration...
January 9, 2017: Soft Matter
Huijun Jiang, Huai Ding, Mingfeng Pu, Zhonghuai Hou
Emergence of collective dynamical chirality (CDC) at mesoscopic scales plays a key role in many formation processes of chiral structures in nature, which may also provide possible routines for people to fabricate complex chiral architectures. So far, most of the reported CDCs have been found in systems of active objects with individual structure chirality or/and dynamical chirality, and whether CDC can arise from simple and achiral units is still an attractive mystery. Here, we report a spontaneous formation of CDC in a system of both dynamically and structurally achiral particles motivated by active motion of cells adhered onto a substrate...
January 9, 2017: Soft Matter
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