Dr. Stoyan K. Smoukov

Dr. Stoyan K. Smoukov |Clyto Access

University of Cambridge, Cambridge ,UK



Biography: Stoyan Smoukov Stoyan Smoukov is the Head of the Active and Intelligent Materials group in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge, where he has been since 2012. He has published more than 60 journal papers, cited over 1600 times, with H-index of 18. Stoyan Smoukov’s current research interests are focused on fundamental investigations of multi-responsive materials, materials in confinement, as well as the use of geometry and processing technologies for achieving responsiveness. He is leading the work on a number of European projects, industrial collaborations, and has co-founded a startup company for producing nanofibers.,


Title: Towards a Bottom-up Manufacturing of Complex Functions and Shapes


Current processes for making particles are quite wasteful of energy and material resources. Most complex particles are made in top-down fashion, requiring expensive lithographic and other equipment with relatively low throughput. We have discovered fundamentally novel mechanisms to direct growth, shape change, and have a vision to develop them in the fields of artificial muscles, adaptive structures, and for bringing insights in the processes of morphogenesis. We combine the geometrical approaches with chemistry to achieve combinatorial multi-functionality. Instead of designing all the desired functions in a single molecule, we use controlled internal phase separation in a material to introduce existing materials with already optimized functions, and interweave them into one. We show how this spatial separation of just 3 phases and 20 functions would lead to over 8000 trifunctional materials. We demonstrate such interpenetrating networks with the separate individual functions, as well as emerging effects. Finally, we describe our recent discoveries for bottom-up shape change in liquid droplets. It relies on breaking symmetry on the molecular level and transformations inside liquid droplets, without any external applied fields, to generate a number of regular geometric shapes, including octahedral , hexagons, rhomboids, triangles and fibers. Artificial materials exhibiting symmetry breaking, such as dynamic shape-change behavior, are parsimonious, compared to biological systems, both in terms of number of components and mechanisms, which allows greater control of behavior. We explain the mechanisms of the transformations,and outline a number of implications for further fundamental discoveries and for potential applied explorations in manufacturing and nanoscience.


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