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Theoretical Modelling of phase transitions in soft matter systems

About This PhD Project

Project Description

There is a vacancy for a theoretical student in the group working on novel phase transitions in liquid crystals and other sot matter materials.

The group leaders are Professor Goran Ungar and Dr Xiangbing Zeng who make experimental studies and Professor Gehring who works on theory plus several current students and postdocs. Some of the recent publications are listed below. The group is currently working on a number of other projects including the theory of self poisoning of the growth of polymeric crystals, alkanes on surfaces and the transition between an optically active and an isotropic liquid crystal.

The projects combine refining the understanding of physical systems to the point where theory becomes feasible developing some simple mean field theories and applying computational methods to make a detailed model. This exciting project needs a student who has a facility with computing and a knowledge of some basic theory of phase transitions.
The studentship will be held in the Department of Physics and Astronomy under the direct supervision of Professor Gehring.

1. Complex Multicolor Tilings and Critical Phenomena in Tetraphilic Liquid Crystals
X. Zeng, R. Kieffer, B. Glettner, C. Nürnberger, .F. Liu, K.Pelz, M.Prehm, U. Baumeister, H. Hahn, H.Lang, G.A. Gehring, C. H. M. Weber, J. K. Hobbs, C.Tschierske, G. Ungar,
Science 331, 1302 (2011)
2. Monte Carlo study of the ordering in a strongly frustrated liquid crystal S. George, C. Bentham, X. Zeng, G. Ungar, and G. A. Gehring,
Phys Rev E 95, 062126 (2017)
3. Molecular ejection transition in liquid crystalcolumns self-assembled from wedge-shaped minidendrons
W. S. Fall, M.-H. Yen , X.Zeng, L. Cseh, Y. Liu, G. A. Gehring and G. Ungar
Soft Matter, 15, 22 (2019)
4. An Ising transition of chessboard tilings in a honeycomb liquid crystal
W. S. Fall, C. Nürnberger, X. Zeng, Feng Liu, S. J. Kearney, G. A. Gehring, C.Tschierske and G. Ungar
Mol. Syst. Des. Eng., 4, 396 (2019)

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