Getting charged up for hard work on soft matter
Prof. Dr. Christian Holm (Institut für Computerphysik Universität Stuttgart)
In the last 20 years the importance of soft condensed matter that encompasses polymers, colloidal solutions, liquid crystals, and biological matter, has steadily increased. A specially important subclass is charged soft matter which includes polyelectrolytes, proteins, DNA, or charged stabilized colloidal solutions that we meet in daily life in soaps, food, lipsticks or sanitary products, just to name a few. Soft matter systems are normally large compared to quantum dimensions, so that classical effective theories are sufficient to describe their behavior. However, thermal motion and conformational entropy plays a large role and those effects need to be taken accurately into account in their modeling. Coarse-grained models are very successful to model the static behavior of soft matter systems, however, one needs to use mesoscopic solvent model to describe dynamical effects. We will present recent developments to model the electrophoretic behavior of charged polymers and colloids and discuss the interesting case of DNA within a nanopore.