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Assembly and Function of Complex Systems

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This theme concerns how novel function arises in condensed matter through the assembly of molecular and nano-scale components into complex systems. In contrast to the 'emergent quantum phenomena' theme, the primary focus is on the emergence and control of structural, dynamical and optical behaviour from the nanoscale through the mesoscale to macroscopically observable phenomena. The theme encompasses many aspects of soft matter physics and is also strongly connected to the physics of biological systems. The theme is strongly interdisciplinary involving many collaborative research programmes with other Departments in the Schools of Physical Sciences, Technology and the Biological Sciences. Some examples of the huge diversity of research and applications are given below.

Research areas:

  • Nanoscience and nanomachines
  • Nanophotonics of atoms, molecules and emitters
  • Hollow fibres used for photochemistry, sensing and nano-assembly
  • Microfluidic techniques
  • Polymer science
  • Functional materials
  • Composite and granular materials