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Erik Luijten

Joint Professor with Materials Science and Engineering

M.Sc.: Institute for Theoretical Physics, Utrecht University
Ph.D.: Delft University of Technology

Research Statement 

My research focuses on the statistical mechanics and thermodynamics of materials, with a strong emphasis on complex fluids, such as polymeric systems, colloids, electrolytes, and active matter. These systems are studied predominantly by means of computer simulations, through which we aim to realize our primary goals: First, to understand experimentally observed phenomena from the underlying microscopic features of a system, and second, to test the predictive value of analytic theories describing these systems. The insight thus gained allows the prediction of yet unknown properties of materials and the design of new materials.
Current research projects concern problems in self-assembly (from colloidal materials to nanoparticles for drug delivery), self-organization, charge transport in electrolytes, programmable and active matter, and dielectric materials.

Selected Publications

Hanne S. Antila, Erik Luijten, “Dielectric Modulation of Ion Transport near Interfaces”, Physical Review Letters, (2018).

Ronit Freeman, Ming Han, Zaida lvarez, Jacob A. Lewis, James R. Wester, Nicholas Stephanopoulos, Mark T. McClendon, Cheyenne Lynsky, Jacqueline M. Godbe, Hussain Sangji, Erik Luijten, Samuel Stupp, “Reversible self-assembly of superstructured networks”, Science, (2018).

Michelle W. Lee, Ming Han, Guilherme Volpe Bossa, Carly Snell, Ziyuan Song, Haoyu Tang, Lichen Yin, Jianjun Cheng, Sylvio May, Erik Luijten, Gerard C.L. Wong, “Interactions between Membranes and "metaphilic" Polypeptide Architectures with Diverse Side-Chain Populations”, ACS Nano, (2017).

Zbigniew Rozynek, Ming Han, Filip Dutka, Piotr Garstecki, Arkadiusz Jzefczak, Erik Luijten, “Formation of printable granular and colloidal chains through capillary effects and dielectrophoresis”, Nature Communications, (2017).

Ming Han, Jing Yan, Steve Granick, Erik Luijten, “Effective temperature concept evaluated in an active colloid mixture”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, (2017).

Jing Yan, Ming Han, Jie Zhang, Cong Xu, Erik Luijten, Steve Granick, “Reconfiguring active particles by electrostatic imbalance”, Nature Materials, (2016).

Huanxin Wu, Ming Han, Erik Luijten, “Dielectric effects on the ion distribution near a Janus colloid”, Soft Matter, (2016).

Benjamin D. Myers, Qing Yuan Lin, Huanxin Wu, Erik Luijten, Chad A. Mirkin, Vinayak P. Dravid, “Size-Selective Nanoparticle Assembly on Substrates by DNA Density Patterning”, ACS Nano, (2016).

Zecheng Gan, Shidong Jiang, Erik Luijten, Zhenli Xu, “A hybrid method for systems of closely spaced dielectric spheres and ions”, SIAM Journal of Scientific Computing, (2016).

Selected Honors / Awards 
  • Fellow, American Physical Society (2013)
  • Xerox Award for Faculty Research (2006)
  • NSF CAREER Award (2004)
  • Helmholtz Award, International Association for the Properties of Water and Steam (2003)
  • Collins Scholar, Academy for Excellence in Engineering Education (2001-2002)


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