• Soft Matter Workshop Seminar 4: Using Polymer Science to Improve Concrete: Superabsorbent Polymer Hydrogels in Highly Alkaline Environments
    Kendra Erk, Materials Engineering, Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana
    3 PM, Tuesday September 28, 2021 Via MS Teams – Abstract and Biography – Video of the Talk
  •  Soft Matter Workshop Seminar 3: Field-Directed Self Assembly of Colloidal Suspensions
    Stuart J. Williams, Mechanical Engineering Department, UofL
    1 PM, Monday August 9, 2021 Via MS Teams – Abstract and Biography
  • Soft Matter Workshop Seminar 2: Biomacromolecule Delivery Strategies
    Jill Steinbach-Rankins, BioEngineering Department, UofL
    1 PM, Monday July 19, 2021 Via MS Teams – Abstract and Biography
  • Inaugural Talk of the UofL Soft Matter Workshop: Super-Elastic and Self Healing Soft Materials
    Badri Narayan, Mechanical Engineering Department, UofL
    1 PM, Monday June 14, 2021 Via Teams – Abstract and Biography – Video of the Talk
  • Whiskey webs: Fingerprints of evaporated bourbon – When a water-diluted droplet of American whiskey evaporates, it can leave behind a self-assembled web pattern not found in Scotch or brandy. Link
  • Recent nanotech research highlights at ERINC – PowerPoint Presentation
  • The fascinating history of Electrical Engineering – 2500 years in the making. La Fée Electricité mural by Raoul Dufy in Paris Museum of Modern Art. Photos from University of Leeds are stiched together in a continuous scroll (running time 1:39). Also in 1937, the same year as Dufy’s mural was painted, George and Ira Gershwin mentioned some of these E&M pioneers in their song “They all laughed” which on this movie is performed by Antje Duvekot. A full resolution version of this movie is hereERINC Overview– part of Plenary talk — presented at Rzeszow University Poland 23May2016

More News

University of Louisville becomes one of the 16 sites forming The National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) Network

Additional information

On September 15, 2015 the National Science Foundation announced the awardees of the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) competition.  The sixteen awarded sites will provide researchers from academia, government, and companies large and small with access to university user facilities with leading-edge fabrication and characterization tools, instrumentation, and expertise within all disciplines of nanoscale science, engineering and technology.

The NNCI framework builds on the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN), which enabled major discoveries, innovations, and contributions to education and commerce for more than 10 years.

The University of Louisville (UofL), together with its partner site at the University of Kentucky (UK) is one of 16 Universities that is pursuing the theme of Multi-scale 3D Manufacturing and Nano IntegrationThe site coordinates 8 service centers at the two universities including two microfabrication cleanrooms, a lab for interactive in situ SEM and AFM, direct write SEM/TEM/FIB 3D nanolithography/milling and 3D nanodeposition, materials analysis capabilities and multiple 3D additive manufacturing processes of metals, ceramics and polymers that connect scales from 1 meter down to tens of nanometer resolution.

ERINC participates in this effort through its members Kevin Walsh (PI), Bruce Alphenaar, Shamus McNamara, Mahendra Sunkara, J. Todd Hastings (Co-PI  and UK site director) and  Robert  Cohn, and its service centers the Huson Nanotechnology Core Facility, the Micro/Nano Technology Center, and the Conn Center.

  • Why you should get a degree in Electrical Engineering – The history, profession and educational programs of electrical and computer engineering PowerPoint slide show (running time 8:30)
  • Faculty Workshop on UofL Soft Matter Research Initiative (post date: 09/30/2014)
    The workshop took place in room 229, Shumaker Research Building, Belknap Campus on October 7, 2014 from 10 AM to 3 PM. Soft Matter Research encompasses intermolecular forces, self assembly, wetting behavior, polymeric liquids and subcellular biophysics and is of growing emphasis across the US. Faculty did learn more about soft matter research at UofL and participated in this workshop sponsored by ERINC.
View information

Additional information on Soft Matter and the workshop agenda:

This summer several ERINC members decided to organize a workshop to develop a shared vision and focus on Soft Matter research.

The theme we explored was along these lines: We have several faculty who can be classified as applied soft matter scientists, but mostly think of themselves as being microfluidics, particle nanomanipulation, nanoparticle materials scientists, etc. I myself have been using capillary thinning of polymeric liquids for making nanofibers and other nanostructures. We could really enhance our research by finding ways to link our applied research to more fundamental investigations of materials and molecular scale interactions in liquids and polymers. The purpose of this workshop was to work to identify important research directions, themes and hiring priorities.

The workshop was organized as follows:
1. It began with the presentation of several short invited talks
2. Followed by roundtable discussions (and possible breakout groups)
3. Concluding with the drafting of a summary of key points and action items

The scheduled presentations was 10-15 minute talks that cover:
1. A top level view of each speaker’s main research activities in soft matter topics
2. Identification of the motivation for the speaker’s research — Is it applied research or fundamental basic understanding?
3a. The speaker’s areas of interest in fundamental soft matter research
3b. Or fundamental research support that could help advance the speaker’s research
4. Identification by the speaker of other researchers around the world who appear to be addressing these fundamental issues

Faculty from around the university who have related interests or who want to learn more about soft matter research were welcome to attend and participate in the discussions.

      • Soft Matter Day at the 80th Annual Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society (SESAPS).
        The Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society had its 80th annual meeting this year in Bowling Green, KY.  Of particular note on Friday Nov 22, SESAPS devoted the day to a special set of sessions on Topics in Soft Matter.  We invited a world-class set of researchers who study fluids, polymers and cellular biomechanics.  A few of the 16 invited speakers included Michael Rubinstein (UNC), B. Hoffman (Duke), Y. Melnichenko (ORNL), Hai Yao (Clemson), Eric Weeks (Emory), D. T. Haynie (U. South Florida) and John Walz (U. Kentucky). The organizers of these sessions Profs. R. W. Cohn (U. Louisville) and M. Guthold (Wake Forest) felt that this meeting had a significant impact on shaping the direction of soft matter research in our region.
    View Report


    This is a report on the highlights of the Soft Matter Day activities at the 80th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society (SESAPS) held in Bowling Green Kentucky.

    “Soft matter is a subfield of condensed matter comprising a variety of physical states that are easily deformed by thermal stresses or thermal fluctuations. They include liquids, colloids, polymers, foams, gels, granular materials, and a number of biological materials. These materials share an important common feature in that predominant physical behaviors occur at an energy scale comparable with room temperature thermal energy. At these temperatures, quantum aspects are generally unimportant. Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, who has been called the “founding father of soft matter,” received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1991 for discovering that the order parameter from simple thermodynamic systems can be applied to the more complex cases found in soft matter, in particular, to the behaviors of liquid crystals and polymers.” {from Wikipedia}

    On Nov. 22, two sessions devoted to topics in soft matter were presented at the 80th Annual SESAPS meeting, which was sponsored by WKU (Ed Kintzel, Chair) and held in Bowling Green this year. The two sessions Soft Matter, Complex Fluids and Polymers in the Southeast and Biophysics: Biomechanics and Cellular Mechanics, presented 15 invited talks that were devoted to reviewing the state of Soft Matter Research in the Southeast Section (from Virginia to Puerto Rico and from Florida to Louisiana.) There were a number of exciting topics covered including, microrheology with non-brownian motion of nanoparticles in complex fluids, spontaneous alignment of liquid crystals in toroidal droplets, FRET-based tension sensors spliced into protein backbones, gecko foot inspired reversible adhesives, and nanoparticles and their depletion forces used to stabilize otherwise unstable colloidal suspensions (presented by Dean John Walz, UK).

    Perhaps the most broadly appealing talk (which has even been presented in Highlights Magazine, for kids K-5th grade) was Prof. David Hu’s talk on soft matter inspired biology research on fire ant rafts. Prof. Hu has measured and quantified how hydrophilic ants can build non-wetting hydrophobic rafts out of their bodies to avoid drowning during flooding. They also can build towers that enable them to scale vertical non-stick surfaces. The towers are exponentially tapered which ensures that the stresses are constant at all depths.

    The session also included several discussion of upcoming events in soft matter including the first International Soft Matter Conference in the US is planned for 2015 in Boston. The Research Triangle Schools have been for the last 4 years had an annual soft matter conference. There were sidebar discussions about trying to expand the meeting to cover the Southeast. Also, it was mentioned that APS is currently discussing stating GSOFT, an interest group in soft matter. There is also some opposition to the new group from 7 other APS interest groups that cover various aspects of condensed soft matter. Other important news includes, is that in 2011 the Research Triangle Schools were awarded a Materials Research Center (MRSEC) in Soft Matter from the National Science Foundation. The MRSEC PI, Gabriel Lopez, Duke University also presented the following talk at the meeting: NSF Research triangle MRSEC: Opportunities for Industrial Collaboration. In all, the meeting proved timely for broadening the awareness of Southeast about the field and its upcoming meetings.

    The Soft Matter Day abstracts are posted here:
    Session EC: Soft Matter, Complex Fluids and Polymers in the Southeast, Biophysics: Biomechanics and Cellular Mechanics
    Session GB: Cellular Mechanics and Biomechanics

      • ERINC members (Cohn and Hinds) presented talks at the 2012 Frontiers of Microscopy Virtual Conference (March 21, 2012) sponsored by the Elsevier B.V. magazine Materials Today: Nanotube membranes, and Nano-electromechanical systems
        • ERINC members (Cohn and Mengüç) visited Escuela Superior Politecnica del Litoral (ESPOL) in Guayaquil, Ecuador swf movie
      • Nanotechnology Courses to be offered for Spring 2016
        Nanotechnology – Dr. Robert W. Cohn
      • Brochure
        Nanomaterials and Devices R&D at ERINC