The Soft Matter Group, headed by Professor Miroslav Štěpánek, is part of the Department of Physical and Macromolecular Chemistry of Charles University in Prague. Our interdisciplinary research very much sits at the interface between physics and chemistry of macromolecules and biomacromolecules. It includes study of solutions of bio and macromolecules; their thermodynamic and kinetic properties, such as self assembly aggregation diffusion etc. The methods of inquiry used are typically those of physical chemistry methods used in our department, that is  light and neutron scattering, TEM, AFM, computer modelling.

If you are interested in joining our group, as a graduate or undergraduate student, or as a postdoctoral fellow, please see the page positions

Theory and simulations

  • Mean field analytiacal and numerical modelling
  • Langevin dynamics
  • Hybrid Monte-Carlo
  • Hartree–Fock 
  • Density functional methods

Experiment

  • Light scattering
  • TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy)
  • AFM (Atomic Force Microscopy)
  • Calorimetry
  • Fluorometry

Research topics

Block copolymer nanoparticles

  • Self-assembled block copolymer colloids (micelles, vesicles)
  • Polyelectrolyte surfactant complexes
  • Interpolyelectrolyte complexes
  • Encapsulation of low-molar-mass compounds in polymeric nanoparticles
 

Simulations of polyelectrolytes

  • polyelectrolyte solutions and gels
  • linear and branched polyelectrolytes
  • star-like, comb-like architectures
  • polyelectrolyte gels (infinite networks)
  • dissociation of weak polyelectrolytes and polyampholytes
 

Boron cluster compounds

  • Solution behavior of anionic boron cluster compounds
  • Physicochemical properties of boron cluster conjugates
  • synthesis of polymers based on boron clusters
 

Mean field modelling of polymers

  • Scheutjenes-Fleer Self-Consistent Field Theory (SF-SCF)
  • Hybrid SCF - Monte Carlo modelling
 

Macromolecular synthesis

  • Synthesis of functional block copolymers
  • Postpolymerization reactions
  • Boron Cluster- and Phenyl Boronic Acid-containing polymers
 

Quantum chemistry

  • Endohedral fullerenes
  • Quantum Monte Carlo simulations
 

Selected Publications

of Soft Matter group

Z. Slanina, F. Uhlík, L. Feng, T. Akasaka, X. Lu, and L. Adamowicz,
Calculations of the Lu3N@C80 two-isomer equilibrium
Fullerenes, Nanotubes and Carbon Nanostructures, 27(5), 2019

DOI, BibTex