The Computational Soft Matter Lab headed by Professor Erik Luijten is a research group focused on understanding and predicting the properties and behavior of a broad range of systems and materials, with an emphasis on collective phenomena (phase behavior, self-assembly, pattern formation, kinetics and dynamics) occurring in complex fluids and soft condensed matter (ionic and polyelectrolyte solutions, colloidal suspensions, polymeric materials). We predominantly employ particle-based computer simulation methods to achieve this, and actively contribute to the development of new simulation algorithms. Much of our work is pursued in direct collaboration with experimental research groups.

Recent News: CSML work published in Nature

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Bernard Beckerman's work on the modeling of bacterial self-organization appeared as part of a paper entitled "Psl trails guide exploration and microcolony formation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms," which was published in the May 16, 2013 issue of Nature. This work was performed in close collaboration with the research groups of Gerard Wong at UCLA and Matt Parsek at the University of Washington. More information is available in Northwestern's press release. The article, of which Professor Luijten is one of the corresponding authors, can be found at

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Research Areas

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Group Information

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The Computational Soft Matter Lab is a research team based upon strong interdisciplinary collaboration, operating at the intersection of physics, chemistry, materials science, and applied mathematics. This broad range of interests is reflected in the composition of our group: Five graduate students and two undergraduate students enrolled in the Materials Science and Engineering Department, Physics Department, or Applied Physics Graduate Program. Each student typically works on two projects simultaneously, and most students collaborate directly with experimental research groups at Northwestern or elsewhere. Enthusiasm, intense curiosity, and a strong drive to pursue intricate problems are traits that characterize our team members.

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