Soft Matter (SOFT MATTER)

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

2016 Impact Factor Available summer 2017
2014 / 2015 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
Year

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
    green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mechanotransduction and interfacial properties in unsupported liquid biomimetic membranes are explored using the droplet-interface bilayer technique. The fluidic monolayer-membrane system afforded by this technique allows for dynamic control over the membrane dimensions, generating capacitive currents (akin to a Kelvin probe) under periodic deformations and permitting a detailed electrostatic characterization of the membrane. The results of this study show that DIB membranes exhibit both a high and low frequency response to mechanical perturbations, and these responses may be used to infer properties such as electrostatic asymmetry, flexoelectric coefficients, and the presence of static membrane bulging due to pressure differences within the droplets. In addition, we show that periodic membrane bending in a high-frequency regime generates tension sufficient to activate reconstituted mechanosensitive channels. The results of this study demonstrate how the DIB membrane may be interrogated mechanically, exploiting their unique fluidic structures.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Soft Matter
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    ABSTRACT: Trisegmented Au-Ru-Au and Ru-Au-Ru nanorods catalyze the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide, pumping fluid along their axis as “pullers” and “pushers” respectively. Local flows generated by catalytic pumping influence the pairwise and higher aggregation of these particles. In particular, pullers avoid side-by-side contact and aggregate primarily through of one or two segments, forming staggered dimers and open aggregates. Pushers dimerize with three overlapping segments and form dense aggregates. Numerical simulations and experiments with passive tracer particles show that catalytically generated hydrodynamic and electrostatic forces both contribute to pairwise and collective particle assembly.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Soft Matter
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    ABSTRACT: We demonstrate a simple, rapid, cost-effective and robust approach to modify a surface of a solid substrate, based on a UV-irradiated film of a general plastic polymer. Thin films of homopolymer polystyrene (PS) of controlled thickness were spin-coated on diverse metal, semiconductor and polymeric surfaces. Specific surface chemistry was tuned with UV irradiation in air (UVIA); interactions at the PS/substrate interface became enhanced with UV irradiation in nitrogen (UVIN). Oxidized and cross-linked PS served as a neutral surface on various metal, quartz, semiconductor and polymeric substrates to induce perpendicularly oriented cylinders or lamellae in a self-assembled block copolymer.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Soft Matter
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    ABSTRACT: We report first experimental studies on the temperature dependence of viscoelastic properties of a room temperature discotic nematic liquid crystal. The splay elastic constant is greater than the bend elastic constant and both show unusual temperature and order parameter dependence. The rotational viscosity is remarkably larger than conventional calamitic liquid crystals. We provide a simple physical explanation based on columnar short-range order to account for the the unusual temperature dependence of the elastic constants.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Soft Matter
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    ABSTRACT: We study the flow-induced translocation of the star polymers through a nanopore using a hybrid simulation method that incorporates a lattice-Boltzmann approach for the fluid into a Molecular Dynamics model for the polymer. Our simulation demonstrates the existence of an optimal forward arm number of the star polymers captured by the nanopore, and illustrates its significance in determining the critical velocity flux of the star polymer translocation through the nanopore. Importantly, we find that the critical velocity flux of the star polymers is independent of the arm polymerization degree, but exhibits a linear dependence on the arm number. Based on previous scaling arguments and our simulation results, we conclude a linear dependence of the critical velocity flux on the arm number of the star polymers, which can successfully describe the dynamics of the star polymer translocation. Our simulation results rationalize the experimental results for the dependence of the critical velocity flux on the arm polymerization degree and the arm number of the star polymers, which provide new insights for the characterization and the purification of the star polymers.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Soft Matter
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    ABSTRACT: We investigate, via modified mean field approach, the dynamic magnetic response of a polydis- perse dipolar suspension to a weak, linear polarised, AC field. We introduce an additional term into the Fokker-Planck equation, which takes into account dipole-dipole interaction in the form of the first order perturbation, and allows for particle polydispersity. The analytical expressions, obtained for the real and imaginary dynamic susceptibilities, predict three measurable effects: the increase of the real part low-frequency plateaux; the enhanced growth of the imaginary part in the low-frequency range; and the shift of the imaginary part maximum. Our theoretical predictions find an experimental confirmation and explain the changes in the spectrum.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Soft Matter
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    ABSTRACT: Measurements of normal and shear (frictional) forces between mica surfaces across small unilamellar vesicle (SUV) dispersions of the phosphatidylcholine (PC) lipids DMPC (14:0), DPPC (16:0) and DSPC (18:0) and POPC (16:0, 18:1), at physiologically high pressures, are reported. We have previously studied the normal and shear forces between two opposing surfaces bearing PC vesicles across pure water and showed that liposome lubrication ability improved with increasing acyl chain length, and correlated strongly with the SUV structural integrity on the substrate surface (DSPC>DPPC>DMPC). In the current study, surprisingly, we discovered that this trend is reversed when the measurements are conducted in SUV dispersions, instead of pure water. In their corresponding SUV dispersion, DMPC SUVs ruptured and formed bilayers, which were able to provide reversible and reproducible lubrication with extremely low friction (μ<10-4) up to pressures of 70-90 atm. Similarly, POPC SUVs also formed bilayers which exhibited low friction (μ<10-4) up to pressures as high as 120 atm. DPPC and DSPC SUVs also provided good lubrication, but with slightly higher friction coefficients (μ=10-3-10-4). We believe these differences originate from fast self healing of the softer surface layers (which are in their liquid disordered phase, POPC, or close to it, DMPC), which renders the robustness of the DPPC or DSPC (both in their solid ordered phase) less important at these conditions. Under these circumstances, the enhanced hydration of the less densely packed POPC and DMPC surface layers is now believed to play an important role, and allows enhanced lubrication via the hydration lubrication mechanism. Our findings may have implications for the understanding of complex biological systems such us biolubrication of synovial joints.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Soft Matter
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    ABSTRACT: Granular heaps of particles created by deposition of mono-disperse particles raining from an extended source of finite size are characterized by a non-homogeneous field of density. It was speculated that this inhomogeneity is due to the transient shape of the sediment during the process of construction of the heap, thus, reflects the history of the creation of the heap. By comparison of structural characteristics of the heap with sediments created on top of inclined planes exploiting the method of Minkowski tensors, we provide further evidence to support this hypothesis. Moreover, for the case of sediments generated by homogeneous rain on surfaces, we provide relations between the inclination of the surface and the Minkowski measures characterizing the isotropy of local particle envirinments.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Soft Matter
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    ABSTRACT: Synthetic chemically powered nanomotors possessing the ability of chemotaxis are desirable for target cargo delivery and self-assembly. The chemotactic properties of a sphere dimer motor, composed of linked catalytic and inactive monomers, are studied in a gradient field of fuel. Particle-based simulation is carried out by means of hybrid molecular dynamics/multiparticle collision dynamics. The detailed tracking and motion analysis describing the running and tumbling of the sphere dimer motor in the process of chemotaxis are investigated. Physical factors affecting chemotactic velocity are discussed, and quantitative relations are presented. The influence of the geometry of sphere dimer motors on the chemotactic dynamics is explored, which is beneficial for the design of motors with high sensitivity for detecting the surrounding environment.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Soft Matter
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    ABSTRACT: We explore the monovalent counter-ion distribution around flexible highly-charged polyelectrolytes with different molecular architectures (linear chains, stars, and unknotted and trefoil rings) using molecular dynamics simulations that include an explicit solvent that interacts with the polyelectrolyte. In particular, we find that the molecular topology influences the fraction of counter-ions transiently associating with the polyelectrolyte on a scale of the order of the chain segments, forming a ``condensed'' counter-ion interfacial layer. As with the hydrogen bonding of water to proteins and other polymers, the persistence time of these interfacial ``bound'' counter-ions is relatively short, $O({\rm 1~ps})$, and we characterize the fluctuations in the number of the counter-ions populating the interfacial layer. We also find that the counter-ions are distributed in a non-uniform fashion on the polyelectrolyte backbone, forming dynamical clusters whose form and average size is sensitive to molecular architecture. In addition, we find that the residual bound counter-ions, not located in either the interfacial layer or the bulk solution, form a diffuse ionic cloud around the polyelectrolyte due to the uncompensated polyelectrolyte charge along the backbone. Generally charge valence strongly influences the extent of the diffuse counter-ion cloud, but in the case of monovalent counter-ions, we find that the size of the diffuse counter-ion cloud nearly coincides with the polyelectrolyte radius of gyration, independent of molecular topology.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Soft Matter
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    ABSTRACT: We studied the correlation between the molecular structure and the formation of helical nanofilaments (HNF) of bent-core dimeric molecules with varying linkage lengths. To obtain a precise structural analysis, a single domain of HNF was prepared under physical confinement using porous 1D nanochannels, made of anodic aluminium oxide film. Electron microscopy and grazing incidence X-ray diffraction were used to elucidate sub- and single-layer dominant behaviours during the linkage length-dependent formation of HNF.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Soft Matter
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    ABSTRACT: Clusters of spherical particles are called "colloidal molecules" because they adopt structures that resemble those of true molecules. In this analogy, the particles are the atoms, the attractive interactions between them are bonds, and the different structures that appear in equilibrium are isomers. We take this analogy a step further by doping colloidal molecules with colloidal "isotopes," particles that have the same size but different bonding energies from the other particles in the system. Our molecules are two-dimensional clusters consisting of polystyrene and silica microspheres held together by depletion interactions. Using a combination of optical microscopy and particle tracking, we examine an ensemble of 4- and 5-particle molecules at different isotope ratios. We find that the isotopes tend to segregate to particular positions in the various isomers. We explain these findings using a statistical mechanical model that accounts for the rotational entropy of the isomers and the different interaction potentials between the different types of particles. The model shows how to optimize the yield of any particular isomer, so as to put the isotopes in desired locations. Our experiments and models show that even in systems of particles with isotropic interactions, the structures of self-assembled molecules can be controlled to a surprisingly high extent through variables that are easily tuned in experiment.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Soft Matter
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    ABSTRACT: We conducted forced drainage experiments to study the liquid flow within the foams stabilized by a cationic surfactant (CTAB) in the presence of partially hydrophobic silica particles. The results show that the presence of solid particles, even when present in small amounts (0.0932 g/L with respect to foam volume), can significantly decrease the foam permeability. The scaling behaviour (power law) between the drainage velocity and the imposed flow rate indicates that the presence of solid particles in the foams triggers a transition of the foam drainage regime from a node-dominated regime to a Plateau border-dominated regime. We applied two foam drainage equations for aqueous foams to simulate the experimental data and interpret the transition. The simulation results show that the presence of solid particles in the foams increases the rigidity of the interfaces and the viscous losses in the channels (the Plateau borders) of the foams, and decreases the foam permeability. We also generalize the theory for the effects of unattached hydrophilic particles on the foam drainage by considering the effects of hydrophobicity and concentration of solid particles on the confinement of foam networks. This study explores the liquid drainage in the three-phase foam and is relevant to the field of hydrophobic particle separation by froth flotation, in which the wash water is commonly applied to the froth layer to improve the product grade.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Soft Matter
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    ABSTRACT: To understand the deformation and internal stress of a red blood cell when it is pushed through a slit by an incoming flow, we conduct a numerical investigation by combining a fluid-cell interaction model based on boundary-integral equations with a multiscale structural model of the cell membrane that takes into account the detailed molecular architecture of this biological system. Our results confirm the existence of cell `infolding', during which part of the membrane is inwardly bent to form a concave region. The time histories and distributions of the area deformation, the shear deformation, and the contact pressure during and after the translocation are examined. Most interestingly, it is found that in the recovery phase after the translocation significant dissociation pressure may develop between the cytoskeleton and the lipid bilayer. The magnitude of this pressure is closely related to the locations of the dimple elements during the transit. Large dissociation pressure in certain cases suggests the possibility of mechanically induced structural remodeling and structural damage such as vesiculation. With quantitative knowledge about the stability of intra-protein, inter-protein and protein-to-lipid linkages under dynamic loads, it will be possible to achieve numerical prediction of these processes.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Soft Matter
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    ABSTRACT: Complex rheological properties of soft disordered solids, such as colloidal gels or glasses, inspire a range of novel applications. However, the microscopic mechanisms of their response to mechanical loading are not well understood. Here, we elucidate \textcolor{red}{some aspects of} these mechanisms by studying a versatile model system, i.e.~two-dimensional superparamagnetic colloids in a precessing magnetic field, whose structure can be tuned from a hexagonal crystal to a disordered gel network by varying the external field opening angle $\theta$. We perform Langevin dynamics simulations subjecting these structures to a constant shear rate and observe three qualitatively different types of material response. In hexagonal crystals ($\theta=0^\circ$), at sufficiently low shear rate, plastic flow occurs via successive stress drops at which the stress releases due to the formation of dislocation defects. The gel network at $\theta=48^\circ$, on the contrary, yields via bond rearrangement and transient shear banding evolving into a homogeneously stretched network at large strains. The latter structure remains metastable after switching off of the shear. At $\theta=50^\circ$, the external shear makes the system unstable against phase separation and causes a failure of the network structure leading to the formation of hexagonal close packed clusters interconnected by particle chains. \textcolor{red}{On a microcopic level, our simulations provide insight into some of the mechanisms} mechanisms by which strain localization as well as material failure occur in a simple gel-like network. Furthermore, we demonstrate that new stretched network structures can be generated by the application of shear.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Soft Matter
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    ABSTRACT: We study the rheology of systems of thermoresponsive microgels at the transition between a repulsive glass and an attractive gel state. We find marked differences between these two colloidal solids, within the same experimental system, due to the different origins for their dynamic arrest. While the rigidity of the repulsive systems depends solely on particle volume fraction, we find that the change in linear elasticity upon introducing attractive bonds in the system scales linearly with the adhesive bond strength which can be tuned with the temperature in our experiments. And while the glasses yield reversibly and with a rate-dependent energy dissipation, bond-reorganisation in the gels is suppressed so that their rupture is irreversible and accompanied by a high, but rate-independent, dissipation. These results highlight how colloids with responsive interactions can be employed to shed new light onto solid-solid transitions.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Soft Matter