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The team "Structure and Dynamics of Soft Matter" (M2SD) brings together physicists and physical chemists whose research activities revolve around basic studies in the field of soft matter. Our work covers a wide variety of systems from biological structures (nucleic acids, proteins, viruses, etc.) to finely divided materials (colloids, emulsions, granular materials, etc) in bulk, at interfaces, or in highly confined geometries. The activity of this experimental group is focused on understanding the structure and dynamics of :

- Systems at equilibrium. We study the supramolecular assembly of anisotropic macromolecules such as DNA, bacteriophages, or of different bioinspired model systems driven by weak interactions. We also investigated the behavior of colloidal inclusions of various shapes and nature in anisotropic fluids such as liquid crystals.

- Non-equilibrium systems. We study the stability and the stress induced flows of complex fluids such as macromolecular solutions or highly concentrated granular suspensions. The objective is to characterize the dynamics of these systems in relation to their microstructural properties (shape, size, type of interaction, etc.). In this context we also study the dynamics of individual particles of micrometer size and the mechanical effects of light on these particles.

In each of these areas we develop model systems to study fundamental scientific issues — from the synthesis of new molecules to the characterization of original phenomena — with the ultimate goal of tackling the true challenge of understanding real-world problems. We routinely use state-of-the-art traditional or innovative experimental characterization techniques, like X-ray scattering, optical trapping, calorimetry, optical, electron and atomic force microscopy, rheology and tribology.