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Research Fellows Directory

John Russo

Dr John Russo

Research Fellow


University of Bristol

Research summary

My research activity spans several topics in the area of Soft Matter Physics, which

is the part of Condensed Matter Physics that studies physical systems that are

easily deformed by external fields. Typical examples of Soft Matter systems

include colloidal suspensions, polymers, foams, amphiphilic molecules and

biological materials. The large number of degrees of freedom, together with

energy scales that are comparable to the thermal energy, allow Soft Matter systems

to be understood in terms of simple statistical mechanics models.

With the aid of computer simulations, I investigate both the equilibrium

and non-equilibrium properties of these models, tackling a vast array of

problems, of both fundamental and practical importance.

Among the equilibrium phenomena, I'm interested in the phase behaviour of

new generation materials, which incorporate directional interactions and a small

coordination number. An example are Patchy Particles, which are colloidal particles

whose surface is decorated with attractive patches; acting like mesoscopic molecules,

these new materials have led to the discovery of novel phase behaviour and are

now being used as building blocks for more complex self-assembled structures.

Among the non-equilibrium phenomena, my research is focused on arrested states,

like glasses and gels, and on crystallization phenomena. One of my current goals is to

determine the general conditions that favour crystallization over vitrification, and vice-versa.

Finally I'm interested in complex fluids, and water in particular. The small coordination

of water molecules, its fluid anomalies, and the complex phase behaviour, including

polymorphism, polyamorphism and supercooled mysteries, make water the perfect subject

for Soft Matter investigations.

Grants awarded

The microscopic pathway of heterogeneous ice nucleation

Scheme: University Research Fellowship

Dates: Dec 2015 - Dec 2020

Value: £453,938.71