Computational Soft Matter Research Group
Group leader: Dr. Emppu Salonen
Soft matter refers to systems whose behaviour is governed by interactions of the order of the thermal energy kBT. Such systems include biological matter, colloids, surfactants, and polymers. A characteristic feature of soft matter is the delicate interplay of entropy with various non-covalent interactions. This leads to such interesting phenomena as self-assembly, complex phase behaviour and, most importantly, life.
Our group’s research is based on computational modeling of soft matter systems. At present, the focus of our work is in 1) understanding the molecular-scale interactions between engineered carbon-based nanomaterials and biological matter; 2) structural and dynamic properties of lipid membranes; and 3) development of novel methods for atomistic molecular simulations. In order to link our computer simulations to reality, we are actively collaborating with leading experimental research groups in the field.
We provide teaching related to our field by annually lecturing the course Tfy-0.3252 Soft Matter Physics at the Aalto University School of Science and Technology.
Recent publication highlights
Below are some highlights of our recent research. For our full list of publications, follow the link at the top of the page.
- In Vitro Polymerization of Microtubules with a Fullerene Derivative,
T.A. Ratnikova, P. Nedumpully Govindan, E. Salonen, and P.C. Ke
ACS Nano 5 (2011) 6306. [Online]
- Effects of carbon nanoparticles on lipid membranes: A molecular simulation perspective,
L. Monticelli, E. Salonen, P.C. Ke, and I. Vattulainen
Soft Matter 5 (2009) 4433. [Online]
- Experimental and simulation studies of real-time polymerase chain reaction in the presence of a fullerene derivative,
J. Shang, T. A. Ratnikova, S. Anttalainen, E. Salonen, P.C. Ke, and H.T. Knap,
Nanotechnology 41 (2009) 415101. [Online]
- Real-time translocation of fullerene reveals cell contraction,
E. Salonen, S. Lin, M.L Reid, M.S. Allegood, X. Wang, A.M. Rao, I. Vattulainen, and P.C. Ke,
Small 4 (2008) 1986. [Online]