The 2020 Ruckenstein Lecture Series


Due to caution regarding COVID-19, the 2020 Ruckenstein Lecture is cancelled. Please continue to visit the UB COVID-19 Information website for updates and important information related to this evolving situation.

Sharon C. Glotzer

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor | Department of Chemical Engineering

Friday, April 17, 2020 at 2:00p.m.
Screening Room First Floor, Center for the Arts
UB Amherst Campus
Reception to follow immediately after in Atrium

Topic: Order, Disorder and the Entropic Bond

Sharon Glotzer.

Entropy is typically associated with disorder; yet, the counterintuitive notion that particles with no interactions other than excluded volume might self-assemble from a fluid phase into an ordered crystal has been known since the mid-20th century. First predicted for rods, and then spheres, the thermodynamic ordering of hard shapes by nothing more than crowding is now well established. In recent years, surprising discoveries of entropically ordered colloidal crystals of extraordinary structural complexity have been predicted by computer simulation and observed in the laboratory. Colloidal quasicrystals, clathrate structures, and structures with large and complex unit cells typically associated with metal alloys, can all self-assemble from disordered phases of identical particles due solely to entropy maximization. If you’ve not heard of entropic bonds before, you’re not alone. In this talk, we show how entropy alone can produce order and complexity beyond that previously imagined, both in colloidal crystal structure as well as in the kinetic pathways connecting fluid and crystal phases, and we show how tools use by the quantum community to predict atomic crystal structures can be used to predict entropic colloidal crystals.


Sharon C. Glotzer is the John W. Cahn Distinguished University Professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, the Stuart W. Churchill Collegiate Professor of Chemical Engineering, and the Anthony C. Lembke Department Chair of Chemical Engineering. She is also Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Physics, Applied Physics, and Macromolecular Science and Engineering. Glotzer is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering (2019), the National Academy of Sciences (2014), and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2011), and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, the American Institute for Chemical Engineers, the Materials Research Society, and the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Glotzer is a Simons Investigator, a former Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellow, and the recipient of numerous other awards and honors, including the 2019 Aneesur Rahman Prize for Computational Physics from the American Physical Society; the 2018 Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum Award and the 2016 Alpha Chi Sigma Award both from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers; and the 2019 Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Materials Science and the 2014 MRS Medal both from the Materials Research Society. Since Glotzer has been Associate Editor for ACS Nano. With over 260 publications and more than 370 plenary, keynote, and invited lectures around the world, Professor Glotzer is one of the world’s leading computational scientists.

Photography Policy
The University at Buffalo will occasionally have a photographer at events such as the one for which you are registered. Please be advised that UB may use photographs taken during events for publication in print and online, including social media. Please alert the photographer at the event should you not wish to have your photograph taken.