The 2022 Ruckenstein Lecture Series

Sharon C. Glotzer

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor | Department of Chemical Engineering

Friday, April 1, 2022 at 2:00p.m.
Screening Room First Floor, Center for the Arts
UB Amherst Campus

Topic: Bonding Through Entropy

Bonding Through Entropy
Many atomic and molecular crystal structures – made possible by chemical bonds – can now be realized at larger length and time scales for nanoparticles and colloids via physical bonds, including entropic bonds. The structural similarities between colloidal crystals and atomic crystals suggest that they should be describable within analogous, though different, conceptual frameworks. In particular, like the chemical bonds that hold atoms together in crystals, the statistical, emergent, entropic forces that hold hard colloidal particles together in colloidal crystals should be describable using the language of bonding. In this talk, we present a microscopic, mean-field theory of entropic bonding that permits prediction of colloidal crystals in a way that is mathematically analogous to the first principles prediction of atomic crystals by solving Schrödinger’s equation or variants thereof. We show how solutions to the theory are facilitated by the use of mathematically constructed shape orbitals analogous to atomic orbitals, using the same algorithms used in modern electronic structure codes for atomic crystal prediction. 


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. She is a member of NAE, NAS, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is a fellow of the AAAS, APS, AIChE, MRS and RSC. She is currently a Simons Investigator, 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. Her 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 they use that knowledge to design new classes of 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. 


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