Thursday, April 10th at 1:00 p.m.
Dolan Science Center room E133


Mesfin Tsige, Associate Professor in the Department of Polymer Science at the University of Akron, will give a talk on, “Atomistic Insight into the Dynamics of Interfacial Hydrogen Bonds”


There is a tremendous need for a greater understanding of the properties of matter at the nanometer scale mainly driven by the unprecedented impact of nanoscale materials in current industrial products. It is well known that matter behaves in complex ways and exhibits exotic properties at nanometer length scales.  However, understanding the behavior of matter at such length scales using experimental methods has in general been very difficult. Computer simulations have proven very useful in predicting properties of novel materials yet to be synthesized as well as predicting difficult to measure or poorly understood properties of existing materials. The most commonly used computational technique for investigating structural and dynamical properties of nanoscale materials is molecular dynamics simulations. I will discuss the physics embedded in this computational tool and its use for simulating soft materials behavior at the atomic scale. Specifically, I will talk about my group’s current effort in quantifying the dynamics of hydrogen bonding at polymer surfaces using molecular dynamics simulations. Hydrogen bonding is very critical to a wide range of systems, from the existence of liquid water at room temperature to the structure of DNA (double helix) and many other biomolecules. Understanding the strength and dynamics of hydrogen bonds has stimulated a large and growing body of experimental and theoretical work. However, despite much research progress made over the years on this topic, our understanding of the dynamics of hydrogen bonds, especially at surfaces and interfaces, is still work in progress.