Nanoscale Physics of Electrochemical and Biological Media
09 May - 12 May 2021
Physikzentrum Bad Honnef
Prof. Dr. Peter Berg, U of Alberta, Canada • Prof. Dr. Michael Eikerling, RWTH Aachen and FZ Jülich • Prof. Dr. Barbara Wagner, Weierstrass Institut Berlin
Recent advances in theoretical, computational and experimental nanoscale physics shed increasingly light on the commonalities between electrochemical and biophysical media. In both cases, a material’s functionality typically rests on the interplay of charged species in electrolytes, charge storage and transfer at electrified interfaces, and coupled transport of ionic and solvent species along pores or channels. Moreover, processes occur in confined spaces where the discrete nature of the system and its finite-size particles comes to the fore, determining equilibrium and nonequilibrium properties of the material. Dynamic deformation and structural alteration of electrochemical and biological media add further interesting facets to this picture. Both fields offer a virtually unlimited variety of structures and phenomena and, consequently, a wealth of possibilities to tune the properties and functionality of electrochemical devices and biological organisms. These phenomena are the focus of this seminar, organized along four main themes: stochastic and thermodynamic aspects of electrochemical and biological media, interfacial phenomena, soft biomaterials, and nanofluidics. The mix of experts and aspiring researchers from physical electrochemistry, biophysics, and soft matter physics stimulates a vivid exchange of ideas, with the goal to foster the formation of new cross-disciplinary partnerships. Understanding how nature has shaped biological matter will help inspire, design and build functionally optimized electrochemical materials and devices from the bottom up. In turn, advances in electrochemistry may inform the development of new materials for biological and medical applications.
The conference language will be English. The Wilhelm and Else Heraeus-Foundation bears the cost of full-board accommodation for all participants.