We are working on topics that span the range from hard to soft condensed matter physics. A main theme is the investigation of materials under conditions far from equilibrium. Such conditions give rise to a wealth of complex phenomena that push the boundaries of what is currently known in physics. At the same time, the insights gained can be used to control properties in unique ways or design whole new classes of smart materials.  One example in our lab is granular matter, which exists almost exclusively under far-from-equilibrium conditions and whose jamming/unjamming transition has become a model for understanding glassy behavior, while also providing a path to new types of high-efficiency particulate materials and enabling novel soft robotic systems. Another example is drying-mediated self-assembly, a process that takes place far from equilibrium, yet can be exploited to produce nanoparticle monolayer sheets with exquisite precision.  We are located in the James Franck Institute at the University of Chicago and are a member of the Chicago Materials Research Science & Engineering Center (MRSEC).

Dense Suspensions

Nanoparticle Sheets

Soft Robotics


Granular Dynamics

Granular Matter by Design

Necks & Splats