[1] Title: “Soft Matter under Hard Confinement”

Project Description: A principal focus of the work is finding the basic underlying principles that give rise to directed self-organization and controlled phase state in a range of soft materials under confinement.  These include crystallizable polymers and liquid crystals. The expected results include understanding the role of confinement on the type of nucleation and overall crystallinity (polymeric nanofibers with tunable mechanical, electrical and optical properties) and the stability of liquid crystal phases (liquid crystal display industry).

Coordinator: George Floudas

Research Team: University of Ioannina, MPI-P (H.-J. Butt), University of Osnabrueck (Prof. M. Steinhart), TOBB University, Ankara (H. Duran).

Duration: 1/2/2012-30/9/2015

Budget: 300000 €.


[2] Title: European Social Fund & National Sources, in the framework of program NSRF 2008-2013 for the region of Epirus - Network of Research supporting laboratories of the University of Ioannina: Large scale facility on dynamics (dielectric spectroscopy/rheology).

Project Description: State-of-the-art instrumentation on dielectric spectroscopy/rheology for soft matter research. The dielectric spectrometer (Novocontrol concept 40) includes: high resolution (minimum tandelta~2x10-5), dielectric analyzer ALPHA-ANB with DC-Bias ±40 V (70 mA), with a frequency range from 3μHz to 20 MHz, active head sample cell ZGS, QUATRO temperature controller for measurements in the range from -160 to +400 oC. In addition the lab at the UoI is equipped with a second dielectric spectrometer and with pressure-dependent dielectric spectroscopy for pressures in the range from 1 to 1000 atm. The rheometer (TA Instruments, model AR-G2) includes a magnetic bearing that allows for low nano-torque control (minimum torque: 0.01 μN∙m, maximum torque: 200 mN∙m, torque resolution: 0.1 nN∙m, displacement resolution: 25 nrad). It is equipped with Peltier plates, Environmental test chamber for temperature control from -160 to +600 oC, camera with image capture, and small-angle light scattering unit for simultaneous rheology/scattering measurements (scattering angles from 6 to 26.8o, corresponding length scale from 1 to 4.6 μm).

Coordinator: George Floudas

Duration: 1/2/2011-

Budget: 230000 €.



Title: “Discotic liquid crystals of nanographenes: Self-assembly and dynamics”

Project Description: Within this project we are investigating the self-assembly and dynamics of a series of discotic liquid crystals based on nano-graphenes. The research is carried out at the University of Ioannina by the PhD student Mr. Ch. Grigoriadis (graduate student at the UoI- three member committee members: Prof. D.N. Theodorou, Prof. Ch. Likos, Prof. G. Floudas) in collaboration with the synthesis group of Prof. K. Müllen at the Max-Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz. Discotic liquid crystals, consisting of rigid disk-shaped aromatic cores and disordered alkyl substituents tend to organize into columnar supramolecular structures. Alkyl substituted hexabenzocoronenes (HBC), in particular, were found to be very promising as active semiconductors in organic field-effect transistors and photovoltaic devices. Within the Herakleitos II framework, we are investigating, for the first time, the effects of non-linear external fields (electric, magnetic, mechanical) on the self-assembly, phase transitions and disk/columnar dynamics of model hexa-peri-hexabenzocoronenes (HBCs).

Coordinator: George Floudas

Budget: 45000 €.



Title: Self-assembly and dynamics in metastable states. From molecular and supramolecular to mesoscopic systems (META-ASSEMBLY).

Project Description: States away from equilibrium is a growing, interdisciplinary research field with yet unknown basic principles and many similarities to the biological world. It is known, however, that the cooperative nature of metastability, the associated slow kinetics and the complexity in phase space are related to the existence of long range forces and to strong spatial and temporal correlations. Under equilibrium conditions, often unattainable, the number of self-assembling structures is limited and is given by equilibrium thermodynamics. On the contrary, under non-equilibrium conditions, a plethora of new self-assembled structures is formed. A principal focus of the work will be on finding the basic underlying principles that give rise to self-assembly in a range of systems where structural and kinetic frustration is provided by different means. This approach includes molecular (discotic liquid crystals, DLC), supramolecular (multivalent copolymers) and mesoscopic (hybrid core-shell nanoparticles) systems with important potential applications. It further requires the implementation of different but complementary techniques with high spatial and temporal resolution and over broad space and time scales as well as simulation/theory.

Coordinator: George Floudas

Research Team: University of Ioannina, University of Crete, FORTH-IESL, NTUA, MPI-P (K. Müllen, H.W. Spiess), CMU (K. Matyjaszewski, M. Bockstaller),  Eindhoven (E.W. Meijer).

Duration: 1/1/2012-30/9/2015

Budget:  521740 € (111000 € for UoI).