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Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 4.13M | Year: 2012

SMARTNET (Soft materials advanced training network) is an ITN at the interface of chemistry, physics, and biology, and deals with the science and technology of molecular soft materials. Soft matter (e.g. gels, emulsions, membranes) is of great societal and economic impact in fields such as food industry, cosmetics, oil extraction and increasingly in high value areas such as biomedicine and nanotechnology. Soft matter is formed when fluids are mixed with molecular additives, giving rise to molecular level structuring. Polymers and inorganic materials have been widely used in this context, but are unlikely to meet future performance requirements for high-tech applications. SMARTNET is focused on conceptually novel approaches towards the next generation of soft matter, based on self-assembling small molecules as promising alternatives to existing systems. The design of molecular components and control of self-assembly processes allows for organization across length scales leading to emergent properties and functions, and will impact on 21st century health care, biomedicine and energy-related technologies. SMARTNET provides a unique multidisciplinary training opportunity and a step change in understanding and exploitation of these systems. A competitive advantage will be achieved by close integration of world-class expertise in molecular design, self-assembly and nanofabrication, photo-chemistry and -physics, multiscale modeling, state-of-the-art scattering and spectroscopy, with application areas such as biomedical, opto-electronic and catalytic materials. SMARTNET consolidates, through international and cross-disciplinary coordination and integration of 9 teams, leading EU research efforts in the area of supramolecular soft matter and offers unique opportunities to the highest level of training-through-research projects.


Mansard V.,CNRS Laboratory of Future | Colin A.,CNRS Laboratory of Future
Soft Matter | Year: 2012

In this article, we provide an up-to-date review dealing with the flow of soft glassy materials, that is, concentrated hard and soft particle assemblies. Because of the existence of short range forces, steric forces, and polydispersity, the structure of soft glassy materials remains frustrated and disordered. Their structure explores the energy landscape by thermally overcoming barriers to lower the total energy of the system. As the system ages, the barriers it must overcome become higher. Eventually, the system falls into a steep valley, from which it can no longer escape during the observation time; thus, it becomes non-ergodic. These disordered structures and rearrangements provide the origin of the rheological behavior of soft glassy materials, which give rise to solid behavior at low applied stresses. Rearrangement is a critical process that must be considered in the modeling of the rheological response of soft glassy materials. In this review article, we describe generic laws that relate stress to deformation, a relationship that we call local rheology. We also present the failures of this law that arise from hysteresis, particle migration, finite-size and non-local effects. We show that a generic framework corresponds to all the systems. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Source


Chaudhuri P.,CNRS Physics Laboratory of Condensed Matter and Nanostructure | Mansard V.,CNRS Laboratory of Future | Colin A.,CNRS Laboratory of Future | Bocquet L.,CNRS Physics Laboratory of Condensed Matter and Nanostructure
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

Using numerical simulations, we study the gravity driven flow of jammed soft disks in confined channels. We demonstrate that confinement results in increasing the yield threshold for the Poiseuille flow, in contrast to the planar Couette flow. By solving a nonlocal flow model for such systems, we show that this effect is due to the correlated dynamics responsible for flow, coupled with the stress heterogeneity imposed for the Poiseuille flow. We also observe that with increasing confinement, the cooperative nature of the flow results in increasing intermittent behavior. Our studies indicate that such features are generic properties of a wide variety of jammed materials. © 2012 American Physical Society. Source


Daubersies L.,CNRS Laboratory of Future | Salmon J.-B.,CNRS Laboratory of Future
Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics | Year: 2011

We present a model that describes the drying of solutions and colloidal dispersions from droplets confined between two circular plates. This confined geometry, proposed by Clément and Leng, casts a perfect control of the evaporation conditions, and thus also of the concentration kinetics of the solutes in the droplet. Our model, based on simple transport equations for binary mixtures, describes the concentration process of the solute inside the droplet. Using dimensionless units, we identify the different numbers that govern the concentration field of the solute, and we detail how to extract kinetic and thermodynamic information on the binary mixture from such drying experiments. We finally discuss, using numerical resolution of the model and analytical arguments, several specific cases: dilute solutions, a colloidal hard sphere dispersion, and a binary molecular mixture. © 2011 American Physical Society. Source


Cuenca A.,CNRS Laboratory of Future | Bodiguel H.,CNRS Laboratory of Future
Lab on a Chip - Miniaturisation for Chemistry and Biology | Year: 2012

Velocity measurement is a key issue when studying flows below the micron scale, due to the lack of sensitivity of conventional detection techniques. We present an approach based on fluorescence photobleaching to evaluate flow velocity at the nanoscale by direct visualization. Solutions containing a fluorescent dye are injected into nanoslits. A photobleached line, created through laser beam illumination, moves through the channel due to the fluid flow. The velocity and effective diffusion coefficient are calculated from the temporal data of the line position and width respectively. The measurable velocity range is only limited by the diffusion rate of the fluorescent dye for low velocities and by the apparition of Taylor dispersion for high velocities. By controlling the pressure drop and measuring the velocity, we determine the fluid viscosity. The photobleached line spreads in time due to molecular diffusion and Taylor hydrodynamic dispersion. By taking into account the finite spatial and temporal extensions of the bleaching under flow, we determine the effective diffusion coefficient, which we find to be in good agreement with the expression of the two dimensional Taylor-Aris dispersion coefficient. Finally we analyze and discuss the role of the finite width of the rectangular slit on hydrodynamic dispersion. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Source

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