Dr. Anand Yethiraj University of British Columbia Department of Chemistry
"Controlling Self Assembly in Colloids: From Crystallization and Melting to
the Design of Novel Photonic Materials"
Self assembly is the formation of ordered structures (from simple ones,
such as opals, to rather complex biological ones, such as ourselves) in a
remarkably non-energy-intensive way.
Model spherical colloids exhibit a thermodynamic phase behaviour analogous
to that in atomic fluids and solids, and provide a wonderful medium to
control self-assembly, by controlling colloidal interactions using
external fields, solvent electrochemistry, and bounding surfaces.
Self-assembly in these simple model systems provides a basis for the
understanding of colloidal interactions in more complex colloidal systems
in biology. It also provides a pragmatic way of designing large-area
photonic band-gap materials: materials with a periodic modulation of the
dielectric constant that produces a potential for photons analagous to the
atomic potential for electrons in semiconductors.
I will describe quantitative confocal microscopy studies of the rich phase
behaviour that arises from an unprecedented control of interactions and
present studies of phase transitions, crystallization, melting, and
applications to novel photonic crystal structures.
BRIEF ACADEMIC/EMPLOYMENT HISTORY:
BSc, St. Xavier's College, Bombay, Physics, 1988.
MS, U. Houston, Physics, 1991.
PhD, Simon Fraser University (Canada), Physics, 1999. NMR spectroscopy studies of the nematic-smectic-A phase transition in liquid crystals.
Post-doctoral Research Scientist, Physics department, Utrecht U., and FOM
Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics, the Netherlands, 1999-2002. Electric-field induced structure and dynamics in colloidal suspensions.
Post-doctoral Research Scientist, Chemistry Department, U. British Columbia, since 2002. NMR studies of anisotropic diffusion and relaxation in lyotropic liquid crystals and complex fluid (micro-)emulsions.