Research Interests

Theory soft matter and polymeric assemblies

Current Research

Our research explores the role of geometric frustration in soft matter and polymeric assemblies through the combined lens of condensed matter theory, statistical physics and differential geometry. In assemblies, frustration arises from interactions between molecular or particulate “building blocks” that favor geometrically incompatible patterns of order.  Counterintuitively, frustration often leads to self-organized states that are more exquisitely structured, and more robustly controlled, than their canonical, unfrustrated counterparts.  Our research targets a basic question that cuts across condensed matter physics, materials science and biology:  how can the self-organization of identical, locally-interacting sub-units yield structures that are regulated at size scales much bigger than those units?

Topics of recent and ongoing interest include:

  • Complex structure in filamentous matter
  • Chirality and hierarchical structure of block copolymers phases
  • Curvature-controlled assembly in membranes and at interfaces
  • Engineering geometrically-frustrated assembly by design