What design tools can we learn from nature to create multifunctional materials?  How can self-assembly and self-organization be used to create new multiscale materials that have multifunctionality?  This IFMD CHARISMA thrust is a group of researchers studying soft condensed matter to create novel architectures through multiscale dynamic assembly.  The aim is development of soft materials composed of multiphase agents such as organic molecules, droplets, and particles, and their integration to create new classes of active/responsive systems.  Members of this group are experts in rheology, interfacial science, fluid dynamics, polymer physics, electrochemistry, thermodynamics, robotics, and numerical modeling.  The members of this group range from those who have end-use applications that will utilize combinations of properties to yield novel hierarchical materials to researchers studying self-assembly and self-organization of agent-based systems to understand the governing principles of active/responsive systems.

Two such areas provide examples of the approaches considered. First, (re)Generative materials are autonomous material systems with stimuli-responsive processes that can be activated for manufacturing of de novo material structure. The abundant display of such autonomous material systems in nature have inspired efforts to recruit biological mimicry in attempts to advance applications in tissue regeneration, self-healing materials and sustainable material manufacturing. These materials are developed from novel (re)generative material systems through engineering of select natural regenerative material systems and via bioinspired design of synthetic material systems that mimic their biological counterparts. Second, self-assembly and organization of materials to generate architecture that has dual chemical, mechanical, photonic, and/or field-driven manipulation from building blocks including quantum dots, polymers, liquid crystalline materials, and magnetically-responsive colloids, building off of existing expertise of the associated members and their collaborators. 

Thrust Members: