School Seminar Program

Capillary-driven self-assembly

Dr Suzie Protiere
Institut Jean le Rond d’Alembert, Sorbonne Université, Paris, France & Department of Materials Physics, ANU

Capillary interactions are key in many natural systems at the millimetre scale: from the cohesion of a sand castle to the capillary adhesion mechanism observed in some beetles on substrates. The self-assembly of objects via such capillary interactions is a well-known phenomenon. Moreover, at small scales, capillary forces can also deform flexible structures, leading to ingenious self-assembly solutions, via drying, evaporation or swelling. In this talk, i will give an overview of my recent work on problems involving such capillary-driven self assembly. By coupling this capillary interaction with a second force such as gravity or elasticity, we can investigate the mechanics of capillary assemblies such as granular rafts or wet fibrous material. I will illustrate these topics with examples from recent advances in the lab and discuss potential outcomes.

Dr. Suzie Protière is a CNRS researcher in Soft Matter Physics at Sorbonne Université (France). She works at the Institut Jean le Rond ∂’Alembert in Paris. She obtained her PhD in 2007 at Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris and Université Paris Diderot working on a quantum analog of droplets bouncing at an interface. She performed her postdoctoral training at Harvard University (Cambridge, USA) working on modeling porous media in microfluidic channels. She has been a visiting researcher at Princeton University for several months between 2010 to 2013 and a fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Durham University, UK in 2020. She was awarded the CNRS Bronze Medal for emerging scientists in 2021. She is currently visiting the Department of Materials Physics at the Research School of Physics, ANU as a recipient of the Stepjan Marcelja Fellowship. Dr. Protière is recognised internationally for her work on fluid-structure interactions at the capillary scale. She has a strong expertise in complex materials and fluids, having worked on swellable beams as well as fluid-grains 2D assemblies of complex interfacial rheology. She is also an expert in elastocapillary imbibition and drying and more generally the coupling of elastic structures and small scales flows.

Join the Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 941 1170 1666
Password: 664 425

Date & time

Thu 11 May 2023, 11am–12pm



Physics Auditorium & Via Zoom


Members of RSPE welcome