Great to see some collaborative work with Jeffrey Mc Hugh finally published (also here on arXiv). Here, we describe a method to map flow fields outside nanopores in their full three-dimensional glory by exploiting optical tweezers and some neat particle tracking techniques.
Exciting news for the new year! Our group has been awarded an ERC Starting Grant! The project aims to investigate the origins of noise and fluctuations in soft systems driven out of equilibrium using a unique combination of state-of-the-art experimental model systems. These will exploit a huge range of techniques including colloids, microfluidics, optical tweezers, nanopores, nanoparticles and DNA nanotechnology. Alice discusses more about the project here.
To tackle this ambitious project we will soon be recruiting a diverse and interdisciplinary team. Watch this space for more details…
Our recent ArXiv paper exploring how careful analysis of ionic current fluctuations can be used to probe polymer adsorption in nanopores has a new home in PRL! Super excited to see this appear as the result of a fantastic cross-disciplinary collaboration.
I’m absolutely delighted to be one of the 37 new University Research Fellows appointed by the Royal Society this year. This amazing award will support me in pursuing the exciting new experiments we are planning in the group, aiming to understand fundamental aspects of fluctuations and transport in soft matter systems.
Our new paper investigating the noise signatures associated with passive adsorption of polymers in nanopores is now available on arXiv. Here we combine detailed analysis of ionic current traces, Quartz Crystal Microbalance measurements and simulations to explore how characteristic noise in the ionic current trace reflects passive adsorption of polymers to the pore surface.
In a very exciting week three new papers have now appeared online!
In Science Advances, ‘Direct detection of molecular intermediates from first-passage times’ discusses a method to reveal details of energy landscapes from analysis of dynamic properties. Some exciting experimental collaborations with the Bayley group (University of Oxford) and Ritort group (University of Barcelona) and with theorist Anatoly Kolomeisky (Rice University) allowed us to demonstrate how our method can be used to count intermediate states across a diverse range of systems – colloids, biological nanopores and DNA hairpins- which differ in their timescales, length scales and interactions.
‘Generalized network theory of physical two-dimensional systems’ (online here) also considers how a single analysis links many different systems (here from molecular materials, to colloids to geopolitical regions (!)), this time with respect to the structure of networks describing them. Exciting to have contributed our data to this paper from the Wilson group (University of Oxford).
Finally, bringing the focus back to colloids, ‘Long-time self-diffusion in quasi-two-dimensional colloidal fluids of paramagnetic particles’ explores the effect (or non-effect…) of hydrodynamic interactions in colloidal monolayers of particles with long-range interactions. More fascinating work with collaborators Nima Siboni and Jürgen Horbach.
Our new paper looking at the noise in rectifying and non-rectifying nanopores has just appeared online.
Here, we studied the behaviour of conical glass nanopores as components in ionic circuits, showing that while net conduction is bulk dominated, the low frequency noise is surface dominated.
Stuart F. Knowles, Ulrich F. Keyser and Alice L. Thorneywork, ‘Noise properties of rectifying and non-rectifying nanopores’, Nanotechnology, 31 (10), 10LT01 (2019)
Alice presented work on analysing first passage time distributions to uncover energy landscapes in talks at the 5th International Soft Matter Conference in Edinburgh (June 2019) and the ‘Transport Phenomena in Complex Environments’ conference in Erice, Sicily (September 2019).
Following on from her RSC SMTG young scientist award, the Oxford Scientist Magazine has featured some of Alice’s work on the 2D melting transition.
Alice has won the 2019 RSC Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics Group (SMTG) Young Scientist Award for her experimental work on the two-dimensional melting of colloidal hard spheres (PRL 118, 158001 (2017)). The prize is awarded for ‘exceptional contributions in the field of statistical mechanics and thermodynamics’ and was awarded in recognition of her experimental resolution of a decades-old debate. She will give her Award Lecture during the Annual Meeting of the SMTG group in Manchester, 9-11 January 2019.