This site describes research in soft condensed matter physics performed by David Grier's group at New York University. Through experiments on model systems, we aim to understand the processes by which microscopic interactions among simple objects can give rise to hierarchies of order and function, and to exploit these processes to create new useful and interesting systems, materials and devices.
Our current focus is on the interactions, dynamics, and collective properties of specially prepared colloidal dispersions consisting of micrometer-scale spheres dispersed in fluid media. We have developed techniques for measuring the vanishingly small electrostatic, hydrodynamic and entropic interactions among colloidal particles. Though small, these same forces are responsible for the self-organization of biological systems and the macroscopic properties of a great many industrial products. They also cause our colloidal spheres to assemble themselves into beautiful crystals whose extraordinary optical properties open new avenues for research in photonics.
We have developed new experimental techniques to probe and exert control over the microscopic realm. Prominent among these are (1) the holographic optical trapping technique for manipulating hundreds of objects simultaneously using a single beam of light imprinted with computer-designed holograms, (2) methods of particle tracking for digital video microscopy capable of measuring micrometer-scale objects' trajectories with nanometer precision, and (3) holographic video microscopy, which permits three-dimensional imaging and sample characterization at video rates.
Read on to learn about the group's research and methods.
CV and Publication List, both in PDF format.
David G. Grier Department of Physics Center for Soft Matter Research (212) 998-3713 (voice) New York University (212) 995-4016 (FAX) 4 Washington Place email@example.com New York, NY 10003