Soft Condensed Matter
Sayantan Majumdar’s research group studies non-equilibrium mechanics of a wide range of synthetic and biological soft materials using various conventional and novel experimental techniques. In collaboration with IISc and ETH Zurich, they have recently discovered that failure statistics in jammed surfactant and nano-clay systems are quantitatively similar to earthquake events. Using rheology and in-situ high-resolution boundary imaging, his group probes shear-induced jamming and yielding behaviour in dense particulate suspensions with a focus on developing smart/adaptive materials. Interestingly, these out of equilibrium systems also show interesting stress-induced aging and memory effects similar to glassy materials which the group is currently exploring. Using Cryo-SEM, confocal fluorescence microscopy, and rheological techniques, they are investigating the architecture-dependent viscoelastic properties and failures in physiologically important biopolymer networks formed by actin and collagen. These studies can have broad implications in celullar and tissue mechanics.