Dr Asaph Widmer-Cooper

PhD Sydney
ARC Future Fellow

F11 - Chemistry Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone 61 2 9114 1141
Fax 61 2 9351 3329

Website Contact Details

Biographical details

Asaph is a Future Fellow in the School of Chemistry. Prior to this he held appointments as an APD Fellow at the University of Sydney, a Visiting Scientist at the ETH Zurich, and a Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he was part of the Helios Solar Energy Research Center.

Research interests

Research in my group is focused on understanding the behaviour of soft matter – i.e. substances held together by relatively weak non-covalent interactions, such as liquids, gels and colloids – from a molecular and nanoscale perspective. The properties of these materials typically depend on the formation of beautiful structures that change with time. To study them we develop and apply analytical and computational methods based on statistical mechanics. We like to tackle questions that improve our fundamental understanding of matter while at the same time enabling the development of new advanced materials, with applications in areas including health and renewable energy. To inspire this work and to stimulate research on real physical systems we often work closely with experimentalists.

Questions that we are currently fascinated by include:

How do colloidal nanoparticles interact with one another and with interfaces, and how can these interactions be manipulated to enable the bottom-up assembly of new materials with applications in filtration, sensing and solar energy capture?

How does the shape of a molecule or colloid influence the symmetry of the crystals they form and the rate at which these crystals will grow?

What is the relationship between the subtle nanoscale order in gels and glass-forming liquids and their unusual viscoelastic properties?

How do defects diffuse in quasicrystals, i.e. in materials that have well-defined local order but which lack translational symmetry?

Awards and honours

  • ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship (2010)
  • International Short Visit Fellowship, Swiss National Science Foundation (2012)
  • ARC Future Fellowship (2014)

Selected grants

2014

  • Interactions, phase behavior and self-assembly of colloidal nanorods: Establishing design rules for creating new nano-structured materials.; Widmer-Cooper A; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Future Fellowships (FT).

2013

  • Structure and dynamics of soft condensed materials, with applications to colloidal assembly, crystallisation, glass-formation, and defect diffusion in quasicrystals.; Widmer-Cooper A; DVC Research/Bridging Support Fellowship.

2012

  • International short visit; Widmer-Cooper A, Del Gado E; Swiss National Science Foundation/Research Support.

2010

  • Soft modes in glasses: chemical control of relaxation and mechanical response; Widmer-Cooper A; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Tondl, E., Ramsay, M., Harrowell, P., Widmer-Cooper, A. (2014). Defect-mediated relaxation in the random tiling phase of a binary mixture: Birth, death and mobility of an atomic zipper. Journal of Chemical Physics, 140(10), 1-8. [More Information]
  • Widmer-Cooper, A., Geissler, P. (2014). Orientational ordering of passivating ligands on CdS nanorods in solution generates strong rod-rod interactions. Nano Letters: a journal dedicated to nanoscience and nanotechnology, 14(1), 57-65. [More Information]
  • Mosayebi, M., Ilg, P., Widmer-Cooper, A., Del Gado, E. (2014). Soft modes and nonaffine rearrangements in the inherent structures of supercooled liquids. Physical Review Letters, 112(10), 105503-1-105503-5. [More Information]
  • Colombo, J., Widmer-Cooper, A., Del Gado, E. (2013). Microscopic picture of cooperative processes in restructuring gel networks. Physical Review Letters, 110(19), 1-5. [More Information]
  • Lenzen, M., Dey, C., Foran, B., Widmer-Cooper, A., Ohlemüller, R., Williams, M., Wiedmann, T. (2013). Modelling interactions between economic activity, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity and agricultural production. Environmental Modeling and Assessment, 18(4), 377-416. [More Information]
  • Henzie, J., Grunwald, M., Widmer-Cooper, A., Geissler, P., Yang, P. (2012). Self-assembly of uniform polyhedral silver nanocrystals into densest packings and exotic superlattices. Nature Materials, 11(2), 131-137. [More Information]
  • Widmer-Cooper, A., Harrowell, P. (2011). Structural phases in non-additive soft-disk mixtures: Glasses, substitutional order, and random tilings. Journal of Chemical Physics, 135(22), 224515-1-224515-10.
  • Baker, J., Widmer-Cooper, A., Toney, M., Geissler, P., Alivisatos, A. (2010). Device-scale perpendicular alignment of colloidal nanorods. Nano Letters: a journal dedicated to nanoscience and nanotechnology, 10(1), 195-201. [More Information]
  • Candelier, R., Widmer-Cooper, A., Kummerfeld, J., Dauchot, O., Biroli, G., Harrowell, P., Reichman, D. (2010). Spatiotemporal hierarchy of relaxation events, dynamical heterogeneities, and structural reorganization in a supercooled liquid. Physical Review Letters, 105(13), 135702-1-135702-4.
  • Widmer-Cooper, A., Harrowell, P. (2009). Central role of thermal collective strain in the relaxation of structure in a supercooled liquid. Physical Review E (Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics), 80(6), 061501-1-061501-6.
  • Lenzen, M., Lane, A., Widmer-Cooper, A., Williams, M. (2009). Effects of land use on threatened species [Efectos del uso de suelo sobre especies amenazadas]. Conservation Biology, 23(2), 294-306.
  • Widmer-Cooper, A., Perry, H., Harrowell, P., Reichman, D. (2009). Localized soft modes and the supercooled liquid's irreversible passage through its configuration space. Journal of Chemical Physics, 131(19), 194508-1-194508-12.
  • Widmer-Cooper, A., Perry, H., Harrowell, P., Reichman, D. (2008). Irreversible reorganization in a supercooled liquid originates from localized soft modes. Nature Physics, 4(9), 711-715.
  • Widmer-Cooper, A., Harrowell, P. (2007). On the study of collective dynamics in supercooled liquids through the statistics of the isoconfigurational ensemble. Journal of Chemical Physics, 126(15), 154503-1-154503-9.
  • Widmer-Cooper, A., Harrowell, P. (2006). Free volume cannot explain the spatial heterogeneity of Debye–Waller factors in a glass-forming binary alloy. Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, 352(42-49), 5098-5102. [More Information]
  • Widmer-Cooper, A., Harrowell, P. (2006). Predicting the long-time dynamic heterogeneity in a supercooled liquid on the basis of short-time heterogeneities. Physical Review Letters, 96(18), 185701-1-185701-4.
  • Widmer-Cooper, A., Harrowell, P. (2005). On the relationship between structure and dynamics in a supercooled liquid. Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, 17(49), 4025-4034.
  • Widmer-Cooper, A., Harrowell, P., Fynewever, H. (2004). How Reproducible Are Dynamic Heterogeneities In A Supercooled Liquid? Physical Review Letters, 93(13), 135701-1-135701-4.
  • Hambley, T., Lindoy, L., Reimers, J., Turner, P., Wei, G., Widmer-Cooper, A. (2001). Macrocyclic ligand design. X-ray, DFT and solution studies of the effect of N-methylation and N-benzylation of 1,4,10,13-tetraoxa-7,16-diazacyclooctadecane on its affinity for selected transition and post-transition metal ions. Dalton Transactions: an international journal of inorganic, organometallic and bioinorganic chemistry, 2001, 614-620.
  • Widmer-Cooper, A., Lindoy, L., Reimers, J. (2001). The effect of alkylation of N- and O-donor atoms on their strength of coordination to silver(I). The Journal of Physical Chemistry Part A: Molecules, Spectroscopy, Kinetics, Environment and General Theory, 105, 6567-6574.
  • Ayers, D., Gooley, P., Widmer-Cooper, A., Torda, A. (1999). Enhanced protein fold recognition using secondary structure information from NMR. Protein Science, 8(5), 1127-1133.

Conferences

  • Widmer-Cooper, A., Harrowell, P. (2004). How Reproducible Is The Structure Of Dynamic Heterogeneity In Glass Forming Liquids? Slow Dynamics in Complex Systems, New York: American Institute of Physics (AIP).

2014

  • Tondl, E., Ramsay, M., Harrowell, P., Widmer-Cooper, A. (2014). Defect-mediated relaxation in the random tiling phase of a binary mixture: Birth, death and mobility of an atomic zipper. Journal of Chemical Physics, 140(10), 1-8. [More Information]
  • Widmer-Cooper, A., Geissler, P. (2014). Orientational ordering of passivating ligands on CdS nanorods in solution generates strong rod-rod interactions. Nano Letters: a journal dedicated to nanoscience and nanotechnology, 14(1), 57-65. [More Information]
  • Mosayebi, M., Ilg, P., Widmer-Cooper, A., Del Gado, E. (2014). Soft modes and nonaffine rearrangements in the inherent structures of supercooled liquids. Physical Review Letters, 112(10), 105503-1-105503-5. [More Information]

2013

  • Colombo, J., Widmer-Cooper, A., Del Gado, E. (2013). Microscopic picture of cooperative processes in restructuring gel networks. Physical Review Letters, 110(19), 1-5. [More Information]
  • Lenzen, M., Dey, C., Foran, B., Widmer-Cooper, A., Ohlemüller, R., Williams, M., Wiedmann, T. (2013). Modelling interactions between economic activity, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity and agricultural production. Environmental Modeling and Assessment, 18(4), 377-416. [More Information]

2012

  • Henzie, J., Grunwald, M., Widmer-Cooper, A., Geissler, P., Yang, P. (2012). Self-assembly of uniform polyhedral silver nanocrystals into densest packings and exotic superlattices. Nature Materials, 11(2), 131-137. [More Information]

2011

  • Widmer-Cooper, A., Harrowell, P. (2011). Structural phases in non-additive soft-disk mixtures: Glasses, substitutional order, and random tilings. Journal of Chemical Physics, 135(22), 224515-1-224515-10.

2010

  • Baker, J., Widmer-Cooper, A., Toney, M., Geissler, P., Alivisatos, A. (2010). Device-scale perpendicular alignment of colloidal nanorods. Nano Letters: a journal dedicated to nanoscience and nanotechnology, 10(1), 195-201. [More Information]
  • Candelier, R., Widmer-Cooper, A., Kummerfeld, J., Dauchot, O., Biroli, G., Harrowell, P., Reichman, D. (2010). Spatiotemporal hierarchy of relaxation events, dynamical heterogeneities, and structural reorganization in a supercooled liquid. Physical Review Letters, 105(13), 135702-1-135702-4.

2009

  • Widmer-Cooper, A., Harrowell, P. (2009). Central role of thermal collective strain in the relaxation of structure in a supercooled liquid. Physical Review E (Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics), 80(6), 061501-1-061501-6.
  • Lenzen, M., Lane, A., Widmer-Cooper, A., Williams, M. (2009). Effects of land use on threatened species [Efectos del uso de suelo sobre especies amenazadas]. Conservation Biology, 23(2), 294-306.
  • Widmer-Cooper, A., Perry, H., Harrowell, P., Reichman, D. (2009). Localized soft modes and the supercooled liquid's irreversible passage through its configuration space. Journal of Chemical Physics, 131(19), 194508-1-194508-12.

2008

  • Widmer-Cooper, A., Perry, H., Harrowell, P., Reichman, D. (2008). Irreversible reorganization in a supercooled liquid originates from localized soft modes. Nature Physics, 4(9), 711-715.

2007

  • Widmer-Cooper, A., Harrowell, P. (2007). On the study of collective dynamics in supercooled liquids through the statistics of the isoconfigurational ensemble. Journal of Chemical Physics, 126(15), 154503-1-154503-9.

2006

  • Widmer-Cooper, A., Harrowell, P. (2006). Free volume cannot explain the spatial heterogeneity of Debye–Waller factors in a glass-forming binary alloy. Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, 352(42-49), 5098-5102. [More Information]
  • Widmer-Cooper, A., Harrowell, P. (2006). Predicting the long-time dynamic heterogeneity in a supercooled liquid on the basis of short-time heterogeneities. Physical Review Letters, 96(18), 185701-1-185701-4.

2005

  • Widmer-Cooper, A., Harrowell, P. (2005). On the relationship between structure and dynamics in a supercooled liquid. Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, 17(49), 4025-4034.

2004

  • Widmer-Cooper, A., Harrowell, P., Fynewever, H. (2004). How Reproducible Are Dynamic Heterogeneities In A Supercooled Liquid? Physical Review Letters, 93(13), 135701-1-135701-4.
  • Widmer-Cooper, A., Harrowell, P. (2004). How Reproducible Is The Structure Of Dynamic Heterogeneity In Glass Forming Liquids? Slow Dynamics in Complex Systems, New York: American Institute of Physics (AIP).

2001

  • Hambley, T., Lindoy, L., Reimers, J., Turner, P., Wei, G., Widmer-Cooper, A. (2001). Macrocyclic ligand design. X-ray, DFT and solution studies of the effect of N-methylation and N-benzylation of 1,4,10,13-tetraoxa-7,16-diazacyclooctadecane on its affinity for selected transition and post-transition metal ions. Dalton Transactions: an international journal of inorganic, organometallic and bioinorganic chemistry, 2001, 614-620.
  • Widmer-Cooper, A., Lindoy, L., Reimers, J. (2001). The effect of alkylation of N- and O-donor atoms on their strength of coordination to silver(I). The Journal of Physical Chemistry Part A: Molecules, Spectroscopy, Kinetics, Environment and General Theory, 105, 6567-6574.

1999

  • Ayers, D., Gooley, P., Widmer-Cooper, A., Torda, A. (1999). Enhanced protein fold recognition using secondary structure information from NMR. Protein Science, 8(5), 1127-1133.

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