Soft Matter Research

Self-Consistent field modeling: Let’s say we have a mixture of oil (red) and water (blue) molecules inside a box. Can we find the equilibrium configuration of these molecules? Yes, Statistical mechanics provides elegant ways to undertake such an adventure. One such method is Self-Consistent field modeling of systems. In layman terms, we take this mixture in a box and then convey mathematically to these molecules that they should arrange themselves as such they always find themselves surrounded by their own kind. What happens? They separate into two phases (like shown).

Phase sepation and formation of interface
Blue shade molecules and Red shade molecules phase separate and reach equilibrium configuration.

In reality, space (represented by our box) is continuous. This means that the oil and water molecules can be placed anywhere inside the box.  Also, in reality, these molecules can have complex branches. And there can be too many molecules in the system. And there finally can be external fields, like gravity, magnetic or electrostatic fields. I try to model all such effects, using statistical mechanics. Currently, we (together with my Ph.D. supervisor: F.A.M. Leermakers) are developing a generic computer algorithm to achieve this. This project is named as Namics. (To contribute, collaborate, or use our algorithm, contact me through contact tab in website or email:


Video 1: The positive wings contribute towards reduction in interfacial tension. As the surfactant is reduced the positive wing in pressure decreases increasing the tension in liquid-liquid interfaces.

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