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Prize 2015 – Ran Ni (The Netherlands)

Brief CV: Dr. Ni received his B.S. (2005) in Computational Mathematics and M.S. (2008) in Chemical Engineering from Beijing University of Chemical Technology, and Ph.D. in Physics (2012) from Utrecht University (the Netherlands).  From 2012 to 2014, he was a postdoctoral research fellow in a joint program of University of Amsterdam and Wageningen University in the Netherlands. In 2014, he was awarded the NWO VENI fellowship, to start his own independent research. In March 2016, he joined the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering in Nanyang Technological University as an assistant professor in Singapore.

The prize was awarded for his work on “Self-propelled colloidal hard spheres


Abstract:  Recent breakthroughs in particle synthesis have enabled the fabrication of artificial colloidal active micro-swimmers that show a high potential for applications in biosensing, drug delivery, etc. By performing computer simulations, we showed that in a simple model system of active colloidal swimmers, i.e. active hard spheres, because of their special dynamics, active hard spheres can tremendously boost the glass transition of the system and crystallise colloidal glasses, as well as mediate tunable long range effective interactions among passive matters. These suggest that active colloidal swimmers can be employed as a novel tool to manipulate the dynamics and assembly of colloidal systems and offer new ways of fabricating functional materials.
Related publications:
Tunable long range forces mediated by self-propelled colloidal hard spheres. Ran Ni, Martien A. Cohen Stuart, and Peter G. Bolhuis, Phys. Rev. Lett. 114 018302 (2015)
Crystallizing hard-sphere glasses by doping with active particles. Ran Ni, Martien A. Cohen Stuart, Marjolein Dijkstra, and Peter G. Bolhuis, Soft Matter 10 6609 (2014)
Pushing the glass transition towards random close packing using self-propelled hard spheres. Ran Ni, Martien A. Cohen Stuart, and Marjolein Dijkstra, Nature Comm. 4 2704 (2013)
Structural signatures of dynamic heterogeneities in monolayers of colloidal ellipsoids. Zhongyu Zheng, Ran Ni, Feng Wang, Marjolein Dijkstra, Yuren Wang, and Yilong Han, Nature Comm. 5 3829 (2014)


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