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Dr Priya Subramanian

Dr Priya Subramanian

‘Mathematical recipes for never-repeating quasicrystals’

Dr Priya Subramanian, University of Leeds

Regular patterns (made of tiles) and crystals (made of either atoms/molecules) surround us in everyday life. These patterns look the same when moved by one unit or rotated by certain special angles. Such repeating arrangements are prevalent in nature as lesser amount of energy is required to assemble them. Never-repeating patterns or quasicrystals are special as they possess order without repeatability. Quasicrystals have recently been observed in a variety of systems such as nanoparticles, metallic alloys and polymer solutions. This implies that under suitable conditions, quasicrystals require lesser energy to assemble than regular patterns. Metallic quasicrystals (3D quasicrystals in bulk) have low friction and high corrosion resistance which is advantageous in prostheses manufacture and are excellent heat insulators while polymeric quasicrystals (2D quasicrystals on surfaces) can be used in photonic devices to manipulate light. Considering the difference in scale between metallic and polymeric quasicrystals, there is a need for mathematical models which explore the unifying mechanisms that generate quasicrystals both on surfaces and in bulk. I propose to investigate conditions which promote quasicrystals by developing mathematical recipes, consisting of both models to understand the formation of quasipatterns, along with tools to characterize their properties, analyze their growth and stability.

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