A pair of tetrahedra align facets in a dense suspension of model, hard colloids.

Greg van Anders' Group

We are a research group in the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics, and Astronomy at Queen's University. We work on Emergence, Systems Physics, Soft Condensed Matter, Materials Physics, and Statistical Mechanics.

Group News

Group News

2019/04/11

New Grant!

We received a Discovery Grant and a Discovery Launch Supplement from the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

2019/04/09

Congratulations Alec!

Former undergraduate student received the NSF Graduate Research fellowship and the DoD National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship. Congratulations!

2019/04/01

Welcome Norman!

Norman Mackay will join the group as an NSERC USRA this summer. Welcome!

2019/03/21

Congratulations Erin!

Erin Teich received an honorable mention for the University of Michigan's ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award. Congratulations!

2019/03/01

Congratulations Chrisy!

Chrisy Du has been accepted to the 2019 Lindau Meeting! Congratulations Chrisy!

2019/03/01

Congratulations Andrei!

Andrei Klishin has been accepted to the 2019 Lindau Meeting! Congratulations Chrisy!

2019/02/26

Congratulations Rosy!

Rose Cersonsky has been awarded the 2019 Student Innovator award from the Biointerfaces Institute at the University of Michigan. Congratulations Rosy!

2019/02/15

Welcome Pheely!

Pheerawhich Chitnelawong from StFX will join the group as a graduate student in Fall 2019. Welcome Pheely!

2018/11/07

Congratulations Yina!

Yina Geng successfully defended her PhD disseration. Yina will start at Morgan Stanley in February. Congratulations Dr. Geng!

2018/09/24

Congratulations Chrisy!

Chrisy Du has started a postdoctoral fellowship with Michael Brenner at Harvard. Congratulations Dr. Du!

2018/09/24

Congratulations Erin!

Erin Teich has started a postdoctoral fellowship with Danielle Bassett at Penn. Congratulations Dr. Teich!

2018/08/24

Congratulations Erin!

Erin Teich successfully defended her PhD disseration. Congratulations Dr. Teich!

2018/08/24

Congratulations Andrew!

Andrew Karas has taken a position as a Senior Analyst at PNC Bank. Congratulations Dr. Karas!

2018/07/20

Congratulations Rosy!

Rose Cersonsky won an NSF Travel Award for her presentation at the 2018 FOMMS Meeting. Congratulations!

2018/07/01

Queens!

Greg has joined the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics, and Astronomy at Queen's University.

2018/04/26

Congratulations Chrisy!

Chrisy Du successfully defended her PhD disseration. Congratulations Dr. Du!

2018/04/24

Congratulations Paul!

Paul Dodd successfully defended his PhD disseration. Congratulations Dr. Dodd!

2018/04/20

Congratulations Andrew!

Andrew Karas successfully defended his PhD disseration. Congratulations Dr. Karas!

Research

We focus on understanding, predicting, and controlling emergent behavior in classical systems, often involving colloids.

We use a variety of analytic and numerical approaches.

A complete list of publications can be found on this Google Scholar page. Here is a sample of some recent work.

Schematic illustration of structural reconfiguration that drives band gap switch

Bandgap Switching

Is it possible to design a colloidal material that has a switchablephotonic band gap? We use simulation to show that compressing self-assembled truncated tetrahedra alters structure in a way to shift the band gap.

Check out our paper in Phys. Rev. Mater..

Schematic illustration of embedding a functional network in a ship hull

Systems Physics

In designing, e.g., electrical, mechanical, or thermodynamic systems engineers have principles that come from centuries of basics physics investigation to rely on. But what are the basic physics principles that guide how to integrate different systems together?

Check out our paper in New J. Phys..

Anisotropic particles in a BCC structure.

Packing and Structure

When does matter pack? We find that that for systems of colloids, even when they are found in dense packing structures, they didn't get there by packing.

Check out our paper in PNAS.

A colloidal crystal undergoing a solid–solid transition.

Solid–Solid Transitions

Solid–solid transitions are ubiquitous in nature and technology, but we still have a lot to learn about them. How can we learn more, and what kind of minimal models can we construct to do so?

Check out our paper in PNAS.

Clusters of Platonic solids packed densely in spheres.

Packing in Confinement

How do symmetric, anisotropic objects pack in a spherical container? This simple question is surprisingly difficult to answer, but it has implications for a wide range of physical systems.

Check out our paper in PNAS.

Truncated tetrahedra in a diamond structure.

Digital Alchemy

Nanoparticle synthesis yields particles that play the role of atoms in nanomaterials, but have properties that can be controlled in ways atoms can't. What does that freedom mean for materials design, and how do we leverage it?

Check out our paper in ACS Nano.

A pair of tetrahedra align facets due to directional entropic forces in a dense suspension of model, hard colloids.

Shape Entropy

Entropy, especially in the context of anisotropic particle shape, can drive the formation of complex structural order. How does does it do that?

Check out our paper in PNAS.

Shape modification of colloidal particles gives them 'entropic patches' that promote specific alignment.

Entropically Patchy Particles

Nanoparticle synthesis inherently yields anisotropically shaped particles. How can we control shape to produce desired bulk behavior?

Check out our paper in ACS Nano.

Press

Here is a selection of non-technical or semi-technical accounts of our work.

Phys.org logo

Packing vs. Assembly

Our work on when matter packs was described at Phys.org.

Phys.org logo

Solid–Solid Transitions

Our work on shape driven solid–solid transitions was described at Phys.org.

Phys.org logo

Confined Packing

Our work on packing in confinement was described at Phys.org.

ACS Nano 'In Nano'

Digital Alchemy

Our work on Digital Alchemy was described in ACS Nano's In Nano.

Nature Materials logo

The Force of Shape

Our work on shape entropy was described in Nature Materials.

Phys.org logo

Beyond Geometry

Our work on shape entropy was described at Phys.org.

Contact: gva@queensu.ca