Monica Olvera de la Cruz of Northwestern University will be presenting the next ISTeC Distinguished Lecture Sept. 14, at 11 a.m. in the Morgan Library Event Hall. Her presentation on polyhedral crystalline membranes will be preceded by a reception with refreshments at 10:30 a.m.
Olvera de la Cruz is a soft-matter theorist, the Lawyer Taylor Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and professor of chemistry and chemical and biological engineering at Northwestern, where she is the director of the Center for Computation and Theory of Soft Materials and co-director of the Center for Bio-Inspired Energy Science. She has developed theoretical models to determine the thermodynamics, statistics and dynamics of macromolecules in complex environments including multicomponent solutions of heterogeneous synthetic and biological molecules, and molecular electrolytes.
In this lecture, Olvera de la Cruz looks at polyhedral shapes that have been identified at the microscopic level in crystalline shells such as fullerenes, viral capsids, and protein-based bacterial organelles. The most frequently found polyhedron in homogeneous crystalline shells is the icosahedron; this talk demonstrates that other geometries arise spontaneously in shells formed by more than one component. She discusses the existence of various regular and irregular polyhedral shells found in nature, and provides the principles for designing nanocontainers with specific shapes and symmetries for numerous applications in the materials and life sciences.
Olvera de Ia Cruz obtained her B.A. in Physics from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico in 1981, and her Ph.D. in Physics from Cambridge University in 1985. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Physical Society.
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