Soft Matter Physics

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Toothbrush bristles were the first things ever made from nylon.

Physics & Astronomy

Liquids, colloids, polymers, foams, gels, membranes, biological materials and therefore life itself are just a handful of examples of soft matter.

With many internal degrees of freedom with weak interactions between the structural components, soft matter sensitive to the environment enabling functional materials to be created.

Soft matter can be found throughout industrial and technological applications. Whether it’s packaging, adhesives, detergents, cosmetics, medicines, fuels, rubber tyres, or paints, soft matter physics is central and essential to understanding, designing and optimising these products. 

Research highlight

2014 REF impact

Soft Matter Group helps position physics at Leeds in equal 4th place in the UK for research impact, in the 2014 REF awards.

REF impact case study ›

Transforming Cellulose Processing

Cellulose is the world’s most abundant organic polymer. It’s an inexhaustible source of raw material offering environmentally friendly, biocompatible products. Unfortunately processing of cellulose is either highly polluting or energy consuming. With today’s need for “greener” materials and more sustainable processing routes; new, innovative process strategies are urgently needed.
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Prof Helen Gleeson's Inaugural Lecture

Wednesday 7th October 2015, 5pm Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre.
Professor Gleeson, Cavendish Chair and Head of School elect is the first woman in the history of the School to hold both of these positions.

This is a free public lecture open to everyone.

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Postdoc Opportunities in the Soft Matter Physics Research Group

Working in the School of Physics and Astronomy, the roles will focus on the development of novel solid state polymer electrolytes for Li-ion battery applications.

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