Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Physics of soft matter, surfaces, and nanostructures

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.02.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Physics   

Code Science Field
P002  Natural sciences and mathematics  Physics 

Code Science Field
1.03  Natural Sciences  Physical sciences 
soft matter, nanostructures, surfaces, complex fluids, colloids, liquid crystals, polymers, elastomers, biomaterials, nanotubes, resonators, waveguides, photonics, optics, topology, ultra-fast dynamics, activity, atomic force microscopy, microscopy, fluorescent microscopy, applications
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (53)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  36477  PhD Miha Čančula  Physics  Junior researcher  2015 - 2016  26 
2.  33197  PhD Simon Čopar  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2020  159 
3.  33330  PhD Gregor Filipič  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2021  127 
4.  53650  Andraž Gnidovec  Physics  Junior researcher  2019 - 2020 
5.  36365  PhD Urška Gradišar Centa  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  63 
6.  39136  PhD Saša Harkai  Physics  Junior researcher  2016 - 2020  25 
7.  22768  PhD Abdelrahim Hassanien  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  153 
8.  29528  PhD Matjaž Humar  Physics  Researcher  2016 - 2021  171 
9.  37473  PhD Uroš Jagodič  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  23 
10.  32598  PhD Venkata Subba Rao Jampani  Physics  Researcher  2021  53 
11.  32403  Janez Jelenc    Technical associate  2015 - 2021  55 
12.  21173  PhD Marjan Ješelnik  Chemistry  Researcher  2020 - 2021  30 
13.  32911  PhD Georgios Kordogiannis  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2016  179 
14.  37526  PhD Žiga Kos  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  73 
15.  54281  PhD Zuhail Kottoli Poyil  Physics  Researcher  2020 - 2021  11 
16.  54829  Nika Kralj  Physics  Junior researcher  2020 
17.  08612  PhD Samo Kralj  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  904 
18.  03321  Ivan Kvasić  Physics  Technical associate  2015 - 2021  22 
19.  55791  Matjaž Malok  Physics  Junior researcher  2021  11 
20.  07926  Silvano Mendizza    Technical associate  2015 - 2021 
21.  33322  PhD Jerneja Milavec  Physics  Researcher  2016 - 2017  32 
22.  34782  Janja Milivojević    Technical associate  2015 - 2021 
23.  37721  PhD Giorgio Mirri  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2015 - 2017  10 
24.  39586  Jaka Močivnik    Technical associate  2018 - 2021 
25.  15649  PhD Griša Močnik  Physics  Researcher  2016 - 2019  283 
26.  36351  PhD Maruša Mur  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  20 
27.  50669  PhD Urban Mur  Physics  Junior researcher  2017 - 2020  25 
28.  09089  PhD Igor Muševič  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  750 
29.  33744  PhD Maryam Nikkhou  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2016  14 
30.  33377  PhD Andriy Nych  Physics  Researcher  2016 - 2021  48 
31.  38194  PhD Luka Pirker  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  191 
32.  52059  Gregor Pirnat  Physics  Junior researcher  2018 - 2021 
33.  50506  PhD Jaka Pišljar  Physics  Junior researcher  2017 - 2021  17 
34.  53462  Anja Pogačnik Krajnc  Physics  Junior researcher  2019 - 2021  83 
35.  35477  PhD Gregor Posnjak  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2019  31 
36.  52367  PhD Guilhem Jacques Poy  Physics  Researcher  2018 - 2019  46 
37.  38160  PhD Anja Pusovnik  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2020  24 
38.  25670  PhD Miha Ravnik  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  432 
39.  07560  PhD Maja Remškar  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  827 
40.  34263  PhD Anna Ryzhkova  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  17 
41.  33107  PhD David Seč  Physics  Beginner researcher  2019 - 2020  33 
42.  54706  Linsy Jane Selvin Robert  Physics  Junior researcher  2021 
43.  17046  PhD Gregor Skačej  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2020  105 
44.  19136  PhD Daniel Svenšek  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2016  199 
45.  12338  PhD Miha Škarabot  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  252 
46.  35485  PhD Maja Trček  Metrology  Researcher  2018 - 2019  40 
47.  19245  PhD Herman Josef P. Van Midden  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  88 
48.  39157  PhD Marion Antonia Van Midden Mavrič  Physics  Technical associate  2016 - 2021  44 
49.  34432  PhD Ana Varlec  Energy engineering  Junior researcher  2015 - 2016  28 
50.  21609  PhD Andrej Vilfan  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  238 
51.  31116  PhD Bojana Višić  Physics  Researcher  2017 - 2021  99 
52.  28235  PhD Erik Zupanič  Physics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  126 
53.  07110  PhD Slobodan Žumer  Physics  Head  2015 - 2021  1,023 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  88,582 
2.  1554  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics  Ljubljana  1627007  33,886 
We aim to explore hot challenges in modern soft matter, nanostructures and surfaces, uniquely combining selected quests from scientific fields ranging from physics, biotechnology, and chemistry to photonics, optics and nanoscience. The research is devised into complementary objectives which aim at novel concepts such as new photonic platform-the topological photonics-, soft matter topological superstructures, and complex fluid active microbots. We will explore topological structures of material fields and colloids in complex fluids, topology and geometry of soft matter, soft matter photonics, ultra-fast phenomena, unconventional soft materials, actuated and active matter, nanomaterials, polymer nanocomposites and lubricants, strongly-correlated systems of atoms and surfaces, and importantly their applications, all at the top-edge of modern science. The research methodology will combine experiments, theory and modelling which will give the program a distinct advantage by allowing it to optimize approaches and in-full explore the scientific ideas. The three main application directions are aimed to develop curved liquid crystalline shutters for welding goggles and angular-selective eye-protectors, to realize an optical transistor based on resonant optical control of fluorescence in nematic microresonators, and to achieve large-scale synthesis and application of MoS2-nanotube based anti-wear and lubrication materials. The research work of our group is at the cutting edge of modern physics of soft matter, surfaces and nanostructures, as supported by our highest level publications (Science, Nature,…), plenary, invited and keynote talks at best international conferences (e.g. Gordon conferences), awarded patents, and high-citation papers. The core objectives are aimed at top research and innovations, based on scientific excellence and highest standards of practice, which not only strengthens the academic and industrial attractiveness of Slovenia but in its essence contributes to the Slovenian excellence in general. We contribute to the socioeconomic and cultural growth of Slovenia also via education, visitors and exchange visits, all at various levels. A variety of outreach activities are planned to disseminate the results of this program including, scientific publications, talks, conference organization, high-school lectures, news and e-news articles, and open-access contributions. Finally, the scientific, socioeconomic and cultural contributions of our program group range from fundamental science, high-tech applications, a spin-off company, and patents to teaching and training of various level professionals, which are all actions towards making Slovenia a high-tech high-value-added knowledge-based society.
Significance for science
The research work of our program group –now newly ambitiously defined for this proposal- is at the cutting edge of modern physics of soft matter, surfaces and nanostructures, as supported by highest level publications (Science, Nature,…), invited plenary and keynote talks at best conferences (e.g. Gordon conferences), awarded patents (EU,….), and high-citation papers. Functionalized soft matter with characteristics emanating at nano and microscale is a direct route towards novel materials with novel material properties. Miniaturization to increasingly smaller length scales has been a major driver for knowledge based applications as it allows for economies of scales in production and raises the quality of the products by imprinting properties, such as lower power consumption, lower limits of detection, and increased capacity. This proposal is a direct aim to such applications, investing into their science and giving also clear technological deliverables. The research of our program group addresses phenomena related to material science, optics, mechanism of living cells, computer modelling, surface, nanotechnology and microfluidics, being therefore with outreach to diverse fields of science. There is a consensus in the scientific community that photonics will play one of the prominent roles in the 21st century, and this proposal is at the top of modern photonics by combining it with topological soft matter, which will open new important and ambitious questions at the interplay of these two fields. To the best of our knowledge there is no other research group in the world, which could realize such program, i.e. have expertise to jointly explore the self-assembly of light structures, model their organization and study the flow of light in such complex optical matter. We will explore open questions in general condensed matter science, such as  mechanisms for production of topological charge affected by the presence of micro-objects and the role of confinement and topology of objects in this  defect production. A special novel challenge of the program will be biocompatible liquid crystal and active nematics, which is a novel topic at the world level, combining research of physics-centered complex fluids with active and biological matter. Further, the program objectives aim at the mechanisms of microswimming, as a broad challenge of understanding and controlling locomotion in low-Reynolds number conditioned (hydro)dynamics. The synthesis of novel low-dimensional nanomaterials is important from the perspective of applied science of microlubrication, wear-control and biocompatibility. Optimization procedures will be explored, aiming to produce high-throughput of the nanomaterials. Knowing the structural properties and growth mechanism of diverse nanomaterials is a challenge with results relevant for a range of scientific fields including physics, electronics, biomedicine, and engineering. Because there exist only very few of MoS2-based nanomaterials, either in the scientific literature or in the market, novel material properties and applications are very likely to be revealed.  Important scientific deliverables of this program grant lay also in the development of novel methods for designing, generating, characterizing, modelling, and controlling the materials. Developing and exploring novel materials regularly requires adapting or developing novel techniques and methodological approaches. For example, bridging fields of complex fluids, topology and photonics, as one of the key objectives of this grant, will require top-edge combination of experimental, theoretical or modeling approaches from all these fields.   The high potential and importance of the proposed complementary topics of soft matter, surfaces and nanostructures materials is reflected in the large number of excellent groups and institutions working in the field, including MIT, Harvard, CNRS, MPIs, Oxford, and Cambridge. The research work is published in highest ranking
Significance for the country
The objectives of our program group are aimed at top-level research and innovations, based on scientific excellence and highest standards of practice. Such building upon excellence in Slovenian institutions not only strengthens the academic and industrial attractiveness of Slovenia but in its essence contributes to the Slovenian excellence and socioeconomic development in general. Major drivers of our program group such as the complementary fundamental science and technological applicability are essential elements that can contribute to the long-term sustainable development and competitiveness of Slovenia.  The research in the field of experimental and theoretical soft matter physics has a long and very successful tradition in Slovenia – and our program group is in the core of this community. In nearly 30 years of research, strong links have been tied between the two central research institutions in the field in Slovenia– the Josef Stefan Institute and the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics UL- which importantly contributed to the growth of the research quality to the top-world level.    Our group regularly files international patents on the developed technology and research solutions (6 patents in the previous funding period). In this renewal of the program grant, technological deliverables will be further pursued and are expected to attract further high-tech industry. Actions (interviews, presentations, patent presentations) will be performed at SLO, EU and international level to attract possible partners (for example together with collaborators at Max-Planck-Institute for Dynamics and Self- Organization, Germany). TECHNOLOGY1:  Specifically, our applied research is strongly interlinked with the Slovenian high-tech company Balder, which is now member of Kimberly-Clark corporation. The company Balder was started as a spin-off of the Josef Stefan Institute and is the world most-important producer of active filters for welding. The applicative research objectives of this grant renewal are prepared inline, and in strong collaboration with the research department of Balder company. Therefore, notably, the applied research of our program group is a direct boost to the competitiveness and development of a high-tech Slovenian company.   TECHNOLOGY2: The second main-stream application direction of our program group as a socioeconomic contribution to the development of Slovenia is the synthesis and use of MoS2 nanotubes as novel lubricant and anti-wear materials. The current testing shows major reduction of friction, wear and consequently energy when using MoS2 nanotubes as surface layers in mechanical actions. The current obstacle to full commercialization of the MoS2-nanotube technology –which is now a distinct applied goal of this grant renewal- is to develop synthesis process with kilogram-scale yields of MoS2 nanotubes that could allow for large-scale applications and semi-industrial testing. The developed MoS2 technology shows also interesting applications as antibacterial materials in medical applications. And lastly, alongside with this technological and research work, we are intensively contributing to the transfer of expert knowledge on nano-safety and detection of nano-particles into legislation and industrial processes. Therefore, this work is also a contribution to improve work safety standards in industry and more broadly, to improve air-quality and air-safety in Slovenia as a whole.  Our program group contributes to the socioeconomic and cultural growth of Slovenia also via education, visitors and exchange visits. Members of our program group regularly teach multiple science courses at undergraduate, graduate and PhD levels, and train multiple MSc and PhD thesis students from Slovenia and abroad (e.g. UK, India, China, Iran, Italy), which is a direct contribution to the people’s potential. Regularly, our group hosts distinguished visitors from all over the world (EU, Japan, USA….) which give seminars and lectures, an
Most important scientific results Annual report 2015, interim report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2015, interim report
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