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Phillip Duxbury

Dean, College of Natural Science and Professor
Condensed Matter Physics - Theoretical
Biomedical-Physical Sciences Bldg.
567 Wilson Rd., Room 4268
(517) 884-5659


1983: Ph.D., University of New South Wales

Selected Publications

Three-dimensional liquid surfaces through nanoparticle self-assembly, T.C. Tseng, E.S. McGarrity, J.W. Kiel, P.M. Duxbury, M. E. Mackay, A.L. Frischknecht, S. Asokan, M.S. Wong, Soft Matter, 6 (7): 1533-1538 (2010)

Crystal structure solution from experimentally determined atomic pair distribution functions, J.P. Juhas, L. Granlund, R. Gujarathi, P.M. Duxbury and S.J.L. Billinge, Journal of Applied Cryst. 43, 623-629 (2010)

Molecular Dynamics Simulation of crosslinking of BCB-Styrene Copolymers, J.W. Liu, M.E. Mackay and P.M. Duxbury, Macromolecules 42, 8534-8542 (2009)

Ab initio determination of solid-state nanostructure, P. Juhás D. M. Cherba, P. M. Duxbury W. F. Punch & S. J. L. Billinge, Nature 440, 655-658 (2006)

General Strategies for Nanoparticle Dispersion, Michael E. Mackay, Anish Tuteja, Phillip M. Duxbury, Craig J. Hawker, Brooke Van Horn, Zhibin Guan, Guanghui Chen, R. S. Krishnan, Science 311, 1740-174 (2006)

Professional Activities & Interests / Biographical Information


Statistical physics, molecular dynamics, complex non-linear systems and networks, rigidity percolation, nanostructure problems, device models.

Current Research Interests

(available in PDF format)

(i) phase behavior of polymer-nanoparticle mixtures with applications to organic solar cells;
(ii) phase behavior of nanoparticle-lipid bilayer systems with applications to nanotoxicology;
(iii) finding the atomic structure of non-crystalline materials, such as isolated nanoparticles and complex molecules, involving the definition and solution of novel inverse problems;
(iv) ultrafast nanocrystallography and applications to ultrafast processes in materials.

An ongoing basic theory interest is phase transitions in complex, frustrated networks, particularly problems that lie at the interface between combinatorial optimization and statistical physics such as spin glass, K-SAT and MIS problems.

Molecular dynamics images of a nanoparticle interacting with a lipid bilayer

figure 1 A small hydrophilic nanoparticle does not penetrate the lipid, but it does deform the lipid.

figure 2 Lipid completely covers a larger hydrophilic nanoparticle leading to rupture of the lipid membrane.

An experimental group at MSU is measuring the current across a suspended lipid bilayer and finds current spikes when nanoparticles are introduced into the system. The dynamics of membrane rupture and healing is believed to cause the current spikes.