Research

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A potential is defined to be short ranged if it decreases with distance  r quicker or similar than r^{-(d-1)} where  d is the dimensionality of the system. Electrostatic, gravitatory and dipolar interactions, present in many physical systems, are examples of long range interactions. When long range intgeractions are present in a system, the weight of the interactions comming from far particles is non negligible. more...


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Capillarity in Porous Media more...


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Electrophoresis is one of the main techniques to separate DNA molecules by size and has shown its effectiveness in the sequencing of entire genomes, including our own. This success story also increased the demand for improved and faster sequencing methods, in order to meet the upcoming challenges. more...


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ESPResSo is a free, open-source software package for simulations of soft-matter systems, which is co-developed and used in the working group for most of its research. more...


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Many new and exciting physical phenomena occur in charged systems in solution, where the interplay between the hydrodynamic forces and the electrostatic interaction plays an important role in determining the dynamical properties.

Using ESPResSo we are investigating many different systems, especially in confined geometries, like the transport properties of ionic solutions in nanopores during DNA translocation, electro-osmotic flow in slit pores and properties of suspensions of confined charged colloids, in particular in slit and cylindrical pores. more...


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Dipolar magnetic fluids (also known as ferrofluids or ferrocolloids), are colloidal suspensions of ferromagnetic nanoparticles (typical sizes 10-20nm), usually stabilised by steric coatings (in non electrolyte carrier liquids) or by electrical double layers (in aqueous solutions). Sterical coatings are usualy made of a stabilizing dispersing agent (surfactant) which prevents particle agglomeration even when a strong magnetic field gradient is applied to the ferrofluid. more...


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In the last couple of years, the computational power of graphics cards has grown much faster than that of conventional CPUs, although at the same time the graphics cards have become true general purpose processors. Recent graphics processors reach speeds of up to a Teraflop on a single PCIe-board. With the introduction of easy-to-use programming languages for the GPU hardware, this computational power can be harnessed for many applications. We use GPU computing to accelerate our computer simulations. more...


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Ionic Liquids (ILs) are basically a subclass of molten salts, which

have a melting point below 100°C. ILs are known already for more than 90 years, however, only recently newly found members of this class showed promising applications in electrochemistry, analytics, technology, and engineering fluids. Many ILs are already liquid at room temperature, some even freeze only at temperatures around -90°C. Due to their salt like structure they usually exhibit a negligible vapor pressure up to very high temperatures which makes them particularly suited for "green chemistry". Since they can also exhibit interesting solvation or coordination properties, one could potentially use them as "designer solvents". more...


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Many natural and technical processes involve multiphase flow

processes in porous media. Despite that fact fundamental concepts of twophase flow on macroscopic scales still remain unclear. The predictive power of the most commonly used extended multiphase Darcy theory is at best limited to simple problems where neither hysteresis nor dynamic effects like trapping nor varying residual saturations have a substantial impact on the solutions. more...


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The crystallization of charged macromolecules has a number of important applications in many fields, such as biology, pharmacology or materials design. For example, proteins are crystallized for purification or structure determination and colloidal crystals are promising candidates for photonic crystals. more...


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PEMs are composed of alternating layers of oppositely charged polyelectrolytes (PEs) (synthetic PEs or biomolecules), which are generally built up based on the Layer-by-Layer technique. [1,2] Due to their potential applications as membrane, encapsulation and matrix materials, and for enzymes and proteins in sensor applications, PEMs have stimulated great interests from both academic researchers and industries.[3] See also a PEM website. Despite the large number of experimental works, theoretical and computational studies toward understanding the microscopic structure of PEMs are scarce.[4]

more...


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Understanding fluid transport in natural porous media is important for many

industrial and scientific applications. Computer simulations require accurate three-dimensional microscopic structure data as input and efficient numerical algorithms for fluid flow simulations. Natural porous media such as carbonates and clay filled sandstones exhibit heterogeneities on many scales and cannot be modeled by existing modeling techniques. more...


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Single molecule experiments (SME) have provided tools in high enough sensitivity and precision to manipulate, visualize and measure microscopic forces on individual molecules. Among many other SME techniques, Optical tweezers are particularly well suited to study polymer channel interactions (a nano-scale pore, biological or synthetic) and chain entropy. more...