Soft Matter

    Since Pierre-Gilles de Gennes gave his famous Nobel lecture on Soft Matter, these “complex” and “flexible” physical systems have gained increasing interest over the past three decades. Here, at CityU, we aim to use state-of-the-art instruments to understand the unique behaviors of soft matter at the surface and interface and further develop new applications based on the newly found properties of soft matter.


Direction 1. Polymers Under Confinement

Soft matter behaves dramatically different from that in bulk. One of our lab's research interests is to understand how different boundary conditions alter the properties of polymers, such as the glass transition temperature of polymer thin films, mobility of polymers near the free surface, etc. These questions do not have significant scientific values but also of great interest to the industry.

  • Science, 2014

  • Macromolecules, 2020

  • Macromolecules, 2017

2014 Science Fig1.PNG

Direction 2. Soft Matter Self-Assembly

Self-assembly of soft matter largely exists in nature, like a school of fish, proteins assembled in milk, the formation of bio-films. In our lab, we try to understand the fundamental science of the assembly behavior of soft matter at the interface by using state-of-the-art instruments.

  • Science, 2019

  • PNAS, 2021

  • Science Advances, 2020

  • Nano Letters, 2017, 2018

2020 SA Fig 1.PNG

Direction 3. Liquid and Soft Devices

Using the directed self-assembly of soft matter to make liquid and soft devices that can be used for energy storage, information processing, and biomedicine.

  • Nature Communications, 2019

  • Chem, 2019

CityU ferrofluids.PNG