Soft Matter Journal Impact Factor & Information

Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry (Great Britain), Royal Society of Chemistry

Journal description

Soft Matter has a global circulation and interdisciplinary audience with a particular focus on the interface between physics, materials science, biology, chemical engineering and chemistry. Soft Matter appeals to a wide variety of researchers, but particularly to: materials scientists; surface scientists; physicists; biochemists; biological scientists; chemical engineers; physical, organic and theoretical chemists.

Current impact factor: 4.03

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2016
2014 Impact Factor 4.029
2013 Impact Factor 4.151
2012 Impact Factor 3.909
2011 Impact Factor 4.39
2010 Impact Factor 4.457
2009 Impact Factor 4.869
2008 Impact Factor 4.586
2007 Impact Factor 4.703
2006 Impact Factor 4.391
2005 Impact Factor

Impact factor over time

Impact factor

Additional details

5-year impact 4.29
Cited half-life 3.40
Immediacy index 1.11
Eigenfactor 0.10
Article influence 1.23
Website Soft Matter website
Other titles Soft matter
ISSN 1744-683X
OCLC 60788497
Material type Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Journal / Magazine / Newspaper, Internet Resource

Publisher details

Royal Society of Chemistry

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Pre-prints on non-commercial repositories and arXiv
    • Post-print on author's personal website
    • Author's post-print on institutional repository after 12 months from acceptance
    • Publisher's version/PDF may be used on author's personal website only
    • Publisher PDF will be supplied and may be used on author's personal website only
    • Publisher will deposit the authors post-print, if appropriate in non-commercial repositories, not limited to funder's repositories after 12 months
    • Restrictions on further re-use and further distribution to be noted
    • Publisher will deposit in Chemical Sciences Article Repository if requested, after 12 months
    • Publisher last reviewed on 21/07/2015
  • Classification

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The position or bandwidth of the selective reflection of polymer stabilized cholesteric liquid crystals (PSCLCs) prepared from negative dielectric anisotropy ("-Δε") liquid crystalline hosts can be shifted by applying a DC voltage. The underlying mechanism of the tuning or broadening of the reflection of PSCLCs detailed in these recent efforts is ion-facilitated, electromechanical deformation of the structurally chiral, polymer stabilizing network in the presence of a DC bias. Here, we show that these electro-optic responses can also be photosensitive. The photosensitivity is most directly related to the presence of photoinitiator, which is a known ionic contaminant to liquid crystal devices. Measurement of the ion density of a series of control compositions before, during, and after irradiation with UV light confirms that the ion density in compositions that exhibit photosensitivity is increased by irradiation and correlates to not only the concentration of the photoinitiator but also the type. Thus, the magnitude of the electrically tuned or broadened reflection of PSCLC of certain compositions when subjected to DC field is further increased in the presence of UV light. While interesting and potentially useful in applications such as architectural windows, the effect may be deleterious to some device implementations. Accordingly, compositions in which photosensitivity is not observed are identified.
    Soft Matter 01/2016; DOI:10.1039/C5SM01985K
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigates the roles of two distinct features of ionically cross-linked polyelectrolyte networks - ionic cross-links and fixed charges - in determining their nanomechanical properties. The layer-by-layer assembled poly(allylamine hydrochloride)/poly(acrylic acid) (PAH/PAA) network is used as the model material. The densities of ionic cross-links and fixed charges are modulated through solution pH and ionic strength (IS), and the swelling ratio, elastic and viscoelastic properties are quantified via an array of atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based nanomechanical tools. The roles of ionic cross-links are underscored by the distinctive elastic and viscoelastic nanomechanical characters observed here. First, as ionic cross-links are highly sensitive to solution conditions, the instantaneous modulus, E0, exhibits orders-of-magnitude changes upon pH- and IS-governed swelling, distinctive from the rubber elasticity prediction based on permanent covalent cross-links. Second, ionic cross-links can break and self-re-form, and this mechanism dominates force relaxation of PAH/PAA under a constant indentation depth. In most states, the degree of relaxation is >90%, independent of ionic cross-link density. The importance of fixed charges is highlighted by the unexpectedly more elastic nature of the network despite low ionic cross-link density at pH 2.0, IS 0.01 M. Here, the complex is a net charged, loosely cross-linked, where the degree of relaxation is attenuated to ≈50% due to increased elastic contribution arising from fixed charge-induced Donnan osmotic pressure. In addition, this study develops a new method for quantifying the thickness of highly swollen polymer hydrogel films. It also underscores important technical considerations when performing nanomechanical tests on highly rate-dependent polymer hydrogel networks. These results provide new insights into the nanomechanical characters of ionic polyelectrolyte complexes, and lay the ground for further investigation of their unique time-dependent properties.
    Soft Matter 11/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5SM01430A
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    ABSTRACT: We develop a theory which predicts curvature-related structural peculiarities of soft spherical nanostructures with a dodecagonal local arrangement of subunits. Spherical templates coated with a thin film of a soft quasicrystal (QC)-forming material constitute the most promising direction to realize these nanostructures. Disordered and perfect spherical nanostructures are simulated using two approaches. The first of them models a random QC-like spherical nanostructure with extended curvature-induced topological defects similar to scars in colloidal spherical crystals. The second approach is inspired by the physics of viral capsids. It deals with the most regular spherical nanostructures with a local QC-like order derived from three well-known planar dodecagonal tilings. We explain how the additional QC-like degrees of freedom assist the nanostructure stabilization and determine the point defect number and location without extended scar formation. Unusual for nanoassemblies snub cube geometry is shown to be the most energetically favorable global organization of these spherical QC nanostructures.
    Soft Matter 11/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5SM02265G
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    ABSTRACT: An evaporating droplet is a dynamic system in which flow is spontaneously generated to minimize the surface energy, dragging particles to the borders and ultimately resulting in the so-called "coffee-stain effect". The situation becomes more complex at the droplet's surface, where surface tension gradients of different nature can compete with each other yielding different scenarios. With careful experiments and with the aid of 3D particle tracking techniques, we are able to show that different types of surfactants turn the droplet's surface either rigid or elastic, which alters the evaporating fluid flow, either enhancing the classical coffee-stain effect or leading to a total flow inversion. Our measurements lead to unprecedented and detailed measurements of the surface tension difference along an evaporating droplet's surface with good temporal and spatial resolution.
    Soft Matter 11/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5SM02354H
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    ABSTRACT: We report detailed experimental studies on the rheology of cubic blue phases. We observe several flow regimes within each blue phase from rheomicroscopy and small angle light scattering experiments. Both the cubic blue phases exhibit solid-like response while the cholesteric phase shows gel-like behavior. The elastic modulus of BP-I is larger than that of BP-II. The shear induced yield transition occurs at a higher strain in BP-II than BP-I. Both the blue phases show stress relaxation through periodic modulation in step-strain experiments. Our results show that the rheological responses of these two phases are significantly different owing to the distinct networks of defect-disclinations.
    Soft Matter 11/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5SM02299A
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper we focus on the structural determination of biological orthogonal plywoods, fiber-like composite analogues of liquid crystalline phases, where the fibrils of the building blocks show sharp 90° orientation jumps between fibers in adjacent domains. We present an original geometric and computational modelling that allows us to determine the fibrillary orientation in biological plywoods from periodic herringbone patterns commonly observed in cross-sections. Although herringbone patterns were long reported, the specific and quantitative relationships between herringbones and the orthogonal plywoods were absent or at best incomplete. Here we provide an efficient and new procedure to perform an inverse problem that connects two specific features of the herringbone patterns (aperture angle and wavelength) with the 3D morphology of the structure, whose accuracy and validity were ascertained through in silico simulations and also with real specimens ("Eremosphaera viridis"). This contribution extends significantly the better known characterization methods of 2D cross sections, such as the arced patterns observed in biological helicoidal plywoods, and with the present proposed methodology it adds another characterization tool for a variety of biological fibrous composites that form cornea-like tissues.
    Soft Matter 11/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5SM02214B
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    ABSTRACT: We study channel flows of active polar liquid crystals (APLCs) focusing on the role played by the active viscosity (β) and the self-propelling speed (ω) on the formation and long time evolution of spontaneous flows using a continuum model. First, we study the onset of spontaneous flows by carrying out a linear stability analysis on two special steady states subject to various physical boundary conditions. We identify a single parameter b1, proportional to a linear combination of the active viscosity and the self-propelling speed, and inversely proportional to a Frank elastic constant, the solvent viscosity, and the liquid crystal relaxation time. We show that the active viscosity and the self-propelling speed influence the onset of spontaneous flows through b1 in that for any fixed value of the bulk activity parameter ζ, large enough |b1| can suppress the spontaneous flow. We then follow spontaneous flows in long time to further investigate the role of β and ω on spatial-temporal structures in the nonlinear regime numerically. The numerical study demonstrates a strong correlation between the most unstable eigenfunction obtained from the linear analysis and the terminal steady state or the persistent, traveling wave structure, revealing the genesis of flow and orientational structures in the active matter system. In the nonlinear regime, a nonzero b1 facilitates the formation of traveling waves in the case of boundary anchoring (the Dirichlet boundary condition) so long as the linear stability analysis predicts an onset of spontaneous flows; in the case of the free boundary condition (the Neumann boundary condition), a stable, spatially homogeneous tilted state always emerges in the presence of two active effects. Finally, we note that various fully out-of-plane spatio-temporal structures can emerge in long time dynamics depending on the boundary condition as well as the initial state of the polarity vector field.
    Soft Matter 11/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5SM02115D
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    ABSTRACT: A good understanding of the microdynamics of the water absorption of poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (PHEMA)-based contact lens is significant for scientific investigation and commercial applications. In this study, time-dependent ATR-FTIR spectroscopy combined with the perturbation correlation moving-window two-dimensional (PCMW2D) technique and 2D correlation analysis was used to study the microdynamics mechanism. PCMW2D revealed that D2O took 3.4 min to penetrate into the contact lens. PCMW2D also found the PHEMA-based contact lens underwent two processes (I and II) during D2O absorption, and the time regions of processes I and II are 3.4-12.4 min and 12.4-57.0 min. According to 2D correlation analysis, it was proved that process I has 5 steps, and process II has 3 steps. For process I, the first step is D2O hydrogen-bonding with "free" C[double bond, length as m-dash]O in the side chains. The second step is the hydrogen bond generation of the O-HO-D structure between D2O and "free" O-H groups in the side chain ends. The third step is the hydrogen bond generation of D2O and the "free" C[double bond, length as m-dash]O groups close to the crosslinking points in the contact lens. The fourth and the fifth steps are the hydration of -CH3 and -CH2- groups by D2O, respectively. For process II, the first step is the same as that of process I. The second step is the hydrogen bonds breaking of bonded O-H groups and the deuterium exchange between D2O and O-H groups in the side chain ends. The third step is also related to the deuterium exchange, which is the hydrogen bonds regeneration between the dissociated C[double bond, length as m-dash]O groups and the new O-D.
    Soft Matter 11/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5SM02542G
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    ABSTRACT: Multiple emulsions have great potential for application in food science as a means to reduce fat content or for controlled encapsulation and release of actives. However, neither production nor stability is straightforward. Typically, multiple emulsions are prepared via two emulsification steps and a variety of approaches have been deployed to give long-term stability. It is well known that multiple emulsions can be prepared in a single step by harnessing emulsion inversion, although the resulting emulsions are usually short lived. Recently, several contrasting methods have been demonstrated which give rise to stable multiple emulsions via one-step production processes. Here we review the current state of microfluidic, polymer-stabilized and particle-stabilized approaches; these rely on phase separation, the role of electrolyte and the trapping of solvent with particles respectively.
    Soft Matter 11/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5SM01663K
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    ABSTRACT: Drug carriers capable of releasing drugs at a constant rate, or following zero-order kinetics, can lead to the best control of plasma drug concentration. Here we demonstrated that zero-order release of polyphenolic drugs, including tannic acid, epigallocatechin gallate, proanthocyanidins, and theaflavin-3'-gallate, could be achieved using hydrogen-bonded layer-by-layer films as the drug carrier. The films were fabricated using the polyphenolic drugs as hydrogen donors and polyethylene glycol (PEG) as the hydrogen acceptor. Because the drugs and PEG are bonded with reversible, dynamic hydrogen bonds, the films disintegrate gradually in aqueous solutions, and thus release the drugs into the media. Furthermore, because the PEG polymers have a narrow molecular weight distribution, the films disintegrate and release the polyphenolic drugs at a constant rate. Besides allowing for zero-order release, the drug carrier developed here also provides various ways to tune the drug release rate. The drug release rate increases with decreasing molecular weight of PEG. More importantly, the release rate could be tuned using external stimuli. Increasing the pH or temperature results in accelerated drug release, while the addition of salt retards the drug release.
    Soft Matter 11/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5SM02186C
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    ABSTRACT: We use lattice Boltzmann simulations to study the dynamics of a disc immersed in a nematic liquid crystal. In the absence of external torques, discs with homeotropic anchoring align with their surface normal parallel to the director of the nematic liquid crystal. In the presence of a weak magnetic field a ferromagnetic disc will rotate to equilibrate the elastic torque due to the distortion of the nematic director and the magnetic torque. When the magnetic field rotates the disc so that the angle θ between normal to the surface of the disc â and director of the liquid crystal n[combining circumflex] becomes greater than π/2, the disc flips around the axis perpendicular to the rotation axis so that â sweeps through π radians. An analysis of this behaviour was performed. In particular, we look at the impact of the disc thickness and edges on defect creation and the flipping transition. We also analyse the importance of backflow.
    Soft Matter 11/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5SM02333E
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we use rheometry and flow visualization to study the dynamics of the interface between shear bands in a wormlike micellar solution sheared between concentric cylinders, i.e., in a Taylor-Couette (TC) cell, and to evaluate the stress diffusion coefficient and the stress correlation length in the Johnson-Segalman model. Two wormlike micellar solutions are studied: an aqueous solution of CTAB-NaNO3 and a solution of CPCl-NaSal in brine. These systems are highly elastic, exhibit Maxwellian behavior in linear viscoelasticity experiments, and shear banding in nonlinear experiments [S. Lerouge, et al., Soft Matter, 2008, 4, 1808-1819, M. A. Fardin, et al., Soft Matter, 2012, 8(39), 10072-10089, P. Ballesta, et al., J. Rheol., 2007, 51, 1047]. A large, custom-built, computer controlled TC cell allows us to rotate both cylinders independently and to visualize the flow in the r-z plane using a CCD camera. At low shear rates, the flow is stable and the fluid appears homogeneous throughout the gap between the cylinders. Above a critical shear rate, a shear banding transition occurs. This manifests itself in the formation of two distinct bands in the r-z plane, with an interface between the two bands. For sufficiently high ramp speeds, multiple steps of interface evolution are identified, as noted by Radulescu, Lerouge, and others [O. Redulescu, et al., Europhys. Lett., 2003, 62, 230, S. Lerouge, et al., Soft Matter, 2008, 4, 1808-1819]. We quantify the interface travel using direct visualization and use this measure, as well as superposition rheometry [P. Ballesta, et al., J. Rheol., 2007, 51, 1047], to determine the stress diffusion coefficient D and the stress correlation length ζ in the Johnson-Segalman model. These parameters are evaluated at different temperatures, shear rates, and gap sizes. We find that the stress diffusion coefficient and the stress correlation length exhibit a strong dependence on the gap of the Taylor-Couette cell for both shear-banding systems. For the CTAB-NaNO3 system, we report a linear dependence of the stress diffusion coefficient on temperature for the parameter range considered. In addition, we find that for this system, the stress diffusion coefficient is independent of shear rate. For the CPCl-NaSal system, we observe the same color changes in the sample reported by others on extended light exposure; however, we find that different histories of light exposure do not affect the measured stress diffusion coefficient.
    Soft Matter 11/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5SM02266E
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    ABSTRACT: Recently developed high-speed ionic devices require adherent laminates of stretchable and dissimilar materials, such as gels and elastomers. Adhesion between stretchable and dissimilar materials also plays important roles in medicine, stretchable electronics, and soft robots. Here we develop a method to characterize adhesion between materials capable of large, elastic deformation. We apply the method to measure the debond energy of elastomer-hydrogel bilayers. The debond energy between an acrylic elastomer and a polyacrylamide hydrogel is found to be about 0.5 J m(-2), independent of the thickness and the crosslink density of the hydrogel. This low debond energy, however, allows the bilayer to be adherent and highly stretchable, provided that the hydrogel is thin and compliant. Furthermore, we demonstrate that nanoparticles applied at the interface can improve adhesion between the elastomer and the hydrogel.
    Soft Matter 11/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5SM02305J
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    ABSTRACT: Over the last decade flat-histogram Monte Carlo simulations, especially multi-canonical and Wang-Landau simulations, have emerged as a strong tool to study the statistical mechanics of polymer chains. These investigations have focused on coarse-grained models of polymers on the lattice and in the continuum. Phase diagrams of chains in bulk as well as chains attached to surfaces were studied, for homopolymers as well as for protein-like models. Also, aggregation behavior in solution of these models has been investigated. We will present here the theoretical background for these simulations, explain the algorithms used and discuss their performance and give an overview over the systems studied with these methods in the literature, where we will limit ourselves to studies of coarse-grained model systems. Implementations of these algorithms on parallel computers will be also briefly described. In parallel to the development of these simulation methods, the power of a micro-canonical analysis of such simulations has been recognized, and we present the current state of the art in applying the micro-canonical analysis to phase transitions in nanoscopic polymer systems.
    Soft Matter 11/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5SM01919B
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    ABSTRACT: The accumulation of colloidal particles to build dense structures from dilute suspensions may follow distinct routes. The mechanical, structural and geometrical properties of these structures depend on local hydrodynamics and colloidal interactions. Using model suspensions flowing into microfabricated porous obstacles, we investigate this interplay by tuning both the flow pattern and the ionic strength. We observe the formation of a large diversity of shapes, and demonstrate that growing structures in turn influence the local velocity pattern, favouring particle deposition either locally or over a wide front. We also show that these structures are labile, stabilised by the flow pushing on them, in low ionic strength conditions, or cohesive, in a gel-like state, at higher ionic strength. The interplay between aggregate cohesion and erosion thus selects preferential growth modes and therefore dictates the final shape of the structure.
    Soft Matter 11/2015; DOI:10.1039/C5SM01952D