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Elisabetta Matsumoto
2011-2014 Postdoctoral Fellow
Condensed Matter Physics

609-258-1143
413A Jadwin Hall

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Topological defects pervade a wide range of condensed matter systems, from superconductors to smectic liquid crystals. In equilibrium they often arise to mediate a frustration in the system. In the superconductor, the existence of an electron wave function prohibits a magnetic field inside the superconductor except in integral units of flux quanta along the core of an Abrikosov vortex. Likewise, screw dislocations allow twist to penetrate into the smectic, relieving the frustration due to the incompatibility between macroscopic chirality and flat, evenly spaced layers. The set of topological defects enumerate the singularities in a system, thereby dominating its interactions and energetic. In addition to frustration, geometric constraints, particularly the necessity to be embeddable in three dimensions, often facilitate the formation of topological defects. The interplay between geometric constraints and requisite topological defects underlies a broad class of problems in many condensed matter systems, from diblock copolymers to mitochondrial membranes and from binary alloys to liquid crystals.

Recent publications:

  • The Power of Poincare: Elucidating the Hidden Symmetries in Focal Conic Domains
  • G.P. Alexander, B.G. Chen, E.A. Matsumoto, and R.D. Kamien, Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 257802 (2010).

  • Helical Nanofilaments and the High Chirality Limits of Smectics-A
  • E.A. Matsumoto, G.P. Alexander, and R.D. Kamien, Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 257804 (2007).

  • One-step Nanoscale Assembly of Complex Structures via Harnessing of an Elastic Instability
    Y. Zhang, E.A. Matsumoto, A. Peter, P.-C. Line, R.D. Kamien, and S. Yang, Nano Letters 8, 1192 (2008).