Squishy Physics

Next seminar: May 17th 2017, 5.30 PM in Pierce 301


Learning Asymmetric Assembly from Nature

from Molecular Design to Phase Transition and Mechanics


Dr. Weichao Shi

John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Harvard University


Abstract: Nature creates asymmetric assemblies to optimize the need for strength and toughness. Here we learn from nature and leverage theoretical calculation to design nonlinear polymer chains to achieve asymmetric assemblies. For example, conventional lamellar structures are usually obtained at nearly symmetric compositions (around 50%). With our designed A(BA’)3 block copolymers, the asymmetric lamellar structure is achieved at an extreme composition of 3% of B component. The asymmetric assemblies provide significant improvement in strength with high content of glassy component, and meanwhile maintain excellent extensibility with continuous rubbery component. The void development is key to understand the fracture mechanics of these materials with asymmetric structures.



Squishy Physics & Pizza Seminar Series

When: Wednesday Evenings - 5:30pm till...

Where: Room 301, Pierce Hall, 29 Oxford St, on the Harvard Campus. Directions and parking instructions are here.

What: These talks are informal, with emphasis on new results and ideas, rather than polished presentations. The Squishy audience members typically include soft matter scientists, physicists, engineers, chemists, and biologists.  The goal is to stimulate discussion with the audience.  Talks are typically about 45 minutes long, with lots of questions along the way.

Pizza: Only the finest! 

How to join the weekly Squishy Physics mailing list: please visit the Signup Page.

Directions: Where: Squishy Physics talks are held in Pierce Hall room 301, 29 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA. See Harvard Campus map here.

Parking: Metered parking is available on Oxford Street.  Speakers, please contact Jill Susarrey to obtain a parking permit.  

Squishy Physics is sponsored by the Cabot Corporation, Dean Cherry Murray and the Weitz Research Group.

If you have comments or suggestions or would like to give a talk, please contact Liheng Cai or Joerg Werner.

Here is the upcoming schedule