Soft matter covers a broad range of materials consisting of polymers both natural and artificial, gels, hydrogels, colloids, fluids in bulk and confined, glasses together with liquid crystals, as well as membranes, peptides, and bio-inspired materials. These materials have complex architecture, with their structural features and dynamics processes spanning over diverse length and time scales, ranging from the single particle to the continuum, hydrodynamic limit, and applies to either coherent displacements of particles, or diffusive, incoherent translations and rotations of the molecular entities. The molecular motions of soft matter determine its intrinsic properties. The complexity of their dynamics becomes more severe when soft materials are subjected to environments with extreme temperatures, pressures, and confinements. Having a molecular-level understanding of the dynamics of soft matter is critical to relate their behavior at varied conditions.
Although countless techniques are individually available today to resolve the wide range of relaxation processes taking place in soft materials it is often difficult to correlate and compare results obtained by different dynamics investigation methods, even when they refer to the same material or similar dynamic phenomena, and many of those techniques do not provide the desired spatial scale information. To this end, neutron scattering spectroscopy is a technique that can probe both the timescales and length scales of the dynamical processes in soft matter. Combining two or more neutron scattering techniques to capture the molecular motions taking place at complementary time scales is an emerging practice today within the soft matter community.
The workshop focuses on the utilization of neutron scattering on soft matter research. We will explore the dynamics of soft matter over a wide time regime probing diffusive and relaxation motions from pico- to hundreds of nanoseconds. We bring together experts working on different aspects of soft matter: preparation, characterization, modelling and applications.
The workshop is divided in two parts over the course of two days: the first part will provide fundamentals of neutron scattering research with application on soft matter. The second part will provide hands-on experience on NSE and QENS experimental setup and data processing, to familiarize the attendees with the two techniques.
Workshop Organizers: Naresh C. Osti and Laura R. Stingaciu
Workshop Co-organizers: Piotr A. Zolnierczuk and Niina H. Jalarvo