Pijush Ghosh, Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Soft matter is one of the emerging areas in the field of science and engineering. The word ‘soft’ highlights the low elastic moduli of these materials as they are deformed by mechanical stresses of the order of the thermal fluctuations. Successful applications of soft matter in diverse areas necessitate better understanding of its mechanics, which is intricate yet interesting. The mechanisms attached to mechanical responses at different length scale makes soft matter mechanics unique and challenging. For example, the mechanical response of a confined polymeric film to external load is significantly different from its bulk counterpart. Determining the role of different types of water present in a hydrogel in distributing the stresses incident on it is extremely important from the perspective of designing of a hydrogel and the hydrogel based composites. Decoupling of temperature dependent substrate effect from measured composite response of a thin film coated on a substrate is an interesting problem by itself. One of the areas which needs to be explored more is the role of interface mechanics in determining the stimuli responsive actuation characteristics of multi-layered soft actuators. Moreover, the mechanics of colloidal layers and particulate membranes are gaining significant attention these days owing to its manifold applications. ​These are few examples, among many, where soft matter mechanics stands out as an extremely interesting and important field of study.

Topics of Interest Include:

  • Nanomechanics of confined polymers
  • Role of water in hydrogel mechanics
  • Mechanical behavior of colloidal Membranes
  • Stimuli responsive soft actuators
  • Buried interface in multilayered soft coating
  • Mechanical response of supported thin films (Substrate Effect, Pile ups etc)