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Soft Matter Science—a Historical Overview with a Supramolecular Perspective

Soft Matter

  1. David K. Smith

Published Online: 15 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9780470661345.smc131

Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials

Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials

How to Cite

Smith, D. K. 2012. Soft Matter Science—a Historical Overview with a Supramolecular Perspective. Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials. .

Author Information

  1. University of York, York, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2012

Abstract

Soft matter science is one of the most active interdisciplinary fields of research, sitting at the interface between chemistry, biology, and condensed matter physics. One of the reasons for the intense interest in soft matter systems is that they are highly dynamic and responsive to a range of different stimuli, making them of interest for a wide range of smart applications. This article provides an introductory overview of the topic of soft matter science and attempts to place it in a historical context, tracing the genesis of the field from its disparate roots in colloid science, liquid crystals, and polymer chemistry. In particular, the article demonstrates how soft matter systems relate to the area of supramolecular science, and it attempts to connect the genesis of the supramolecular approach to soft matter nanoscience with the disparate areas of research that underpin it. In this way, it is possible to achieve a holistic approach to the development of soft matter systems with applications in nanoscience and technology.

Keywords:

  • soft matter systems;
  • polymers;
  • liquid crystal;
  • supramolecular;
  • noncovalent interactions;
  • colloid chemistry