University of Waterloo
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext 32215
Fax: (519) 746-8115
Soft materials pose unique challenges in condensed matter physics. They are dubbed “soft” because their structure is typically exquisitely sensitive to temperature, composition, external stimuli or other associated variables. This sensitivity arises from the competition among different interactions or between interactions and entropy. They are sometimes ordered but most of the time disordered.
Theorists in this group employ cutting-edge theoretical and computer simulation tools derived from statistical physics, field theory, and machine learning. These tools are used to study mesoscopic and sometimes self-assembled structures in polymers, biomolecular systems, liquid crystals, and colloids, with applications to problems such as understanding DNA confinement, membrane-protein interaction and emergent material design. Experimentalists in this group explore the structure and dynamics of thin polymer films to understand the glass transition using a wide range of experimental techniques, including ellipsometry, photon correlation spectroscopy, dielectric relaxation and inelastic neutron scattering.
The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is centralized within our Indigenous Initiatives Office.