The idea of a unified approach to the chemistry and physics of soft matter has only recently emerged. Soft materials, sometimes known as complex fluids, include polymers, colloids amphiphiles, surfactants and liquid crystals. These apparently diverse materials have common structural and dynamic properties that fall between those of crystalline solids and simple molecular liquids and gases. Soft and flexible materials are the result of the complexity and intricacy of molecular self-assembly. The versatility of this ordering has been exploited by manufacturing industry to make paints, plastics, detergents and many other everyday products. In the natural world, self-assembly drives the ordering of proteins and nucleic acids. The principles by which mankind and nature harness supra-molecular ordering in soft matter are outlined in this book.
Introduction to Soft Matter is the first introductory text presenting a comprehensive and unified coverage of a subject that spans the disciplines of chemistry, materials science and physics. It will appeal to students of polymer, colloid and surface science as well as serving as an excellent introduction for researchers in the field. A series of questions and answers is provided at the end of each chapter.