Maria Santore Research Group

Tension and curvature-controlled crystalline morphologies

Most crystalline solids are formed from a bulk melt or solution and possess order in 3 dimensions.   Thin sheets of the same crystalline solids, materials such as graphene, or lamellae are fundamentally two dimensional and may also develop solid order in-plane.  Fluid lamellae, for instance made of copolymers or phospholipids, introduce the added complexity (and utility) of assuming a variety of curved shapes.  We are interested in how bending in these systems influences phase transitions, the resulting morphologies of solid domains, and mechanical properties of the composite systems. Ongoing research is revealing complex morphologies that had not been previously observed and current work targets an understanding of how stress and curvature influence crystal growth in lamellae.