What we do

The new revolution in nano-science, engineering and technology is being driven by our ability to manipulate matter at the molecular, nanoparticle, and colloidal level to create “designer” structures. Using computation, geometrical concepts, and statistical mechanics, we seek to understand complex behavior emerging from simple rules and forces, and use that knowledge to design new classes of materials.

Our introduction of the notion of “patchy particles,” a conceptual approach to nanoparticle design, has informed wide-ranging investigations of self-assembly. We showed that entropy alone can assemble shapes into many structures, which has implications for materials science, thermodynamics, mathematics, nanotechnology, biology and more. Our “shape space diagram” shows how matter self-organizes based on the shapes of the constituent elements, making it possible to predict what kind of ordered material will emerge from disorder.

The Glotzer group develops and disseminates powerful open-source software including the particle simulation toolkit, HOOMD-blue, which allows for fast molecular simulation of materials on graphics processors, the signac framework for data and workflow management, and several analysis and visualization tools. We invite the scientific community to learn more about our research and utilize our software.

  • Watch interview with Professor Sharon Glotzer where she explains how emergence, entropy and order can all fit together
  • Glotzer Group Members May 2017
  • Watch interview with Professor Sharon Glotzer