2019 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit

Plenary Session Featuring The Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Materials Science

Monday, December 2
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Sheraton, 2nd Floor, Grand Ballroom

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Sharon GlotzerSharon C. Glotzer
University of Michigan

Engineering Matter Across Scales

The ability to design and make the perfect material with just the right properties to do what we want, how we want, and when we want is the holy grail of materials research. Such “materials on demand” require control over thermodynamics, kinetics, nonequilibrium behavior and structure across many length and timescales. On the eve of 2020, we have never been closer to the goal, but many challenges – and opportunities – remain. Many of those are at the boundaries of the subfields of materials research, where ideas from one area spur advances in others, and where tools and concepts are transferable across domains and scales. At the same time, foundational understanding at one scale can help understand new discoveries at different scales, regardless of the nature of the material and the forces holding it together.

In this lecture, we show how atomic and molecular crystal structures – made possible by chemical bonds – can be realized in noninteracting nanoparticles and colloids via entropic bonds. We show that similar crystallization pathways are followed by both molecular and colloidal fluids regardless of driving forces or relevant length scales. We show how colloidal crystal prediction may be amenable to modern tools used for atomic crystal prediction. We show how studies of colloidal self-assembly have led to the in silico discovery of more than 400 photonic bandgaps in over 300 crystal structures, all with atomic analogues. Finally, we show how our knowledge of dislocations in atomic crystals can be transferred across scales to realize shape-shifting colloidal crystals inspired by particle robots.

About Sharon C. Glotzer

Sharon C. Glotzer is the John W. Cahn Distinguished University Professor of Engineering and the Stuart W. Churchill Collegiate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan, and also holds faculty appointments in physics, applied physics and macromolecular science and engineering. Since July 2017, Glotzer is the Anthony C. Lembke Department Chair of Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan. Her current research on computational assembly science and engineering aims toward predictive materials design of colloidal and soft matter. Using computation, geometrical concepts and statistical mechanics, her research group seeks to understand complex behavior emerging from simple rules and forces, and uses that knowledge to design new materials. Glotzer’s group also develops and disseminates powerful open-source software including the particle simulation toolkit, HOOMD-blue, which allows for fast molecular simulation of materials on graphics processors, the signac framework for data and workflow management, and several analysis and visualization tools.   

Glotzer received her Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her PhD degree in physics from Boston University.  She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. She is a Fellow of the Materials Research Society (MRS), the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the American Physical Society (APS) and the Royal Society of Chemistry. Glotzer is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the 2019 Aneesur Rahman Prize for Computational Physics from APS, the 2018 Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum and the 2016 Alpha Chi Sigma Awards, both from AIChE, and the 2017 MRS Communications Lecture Award and 2014 MRS Medal. She is a leading advocate for simulation-based materials research, including nanotechnology and high-performance computing, serving on boards and advisory committees of the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Academies. Glotzer is currently a member of the National Academies Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology. 

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