About this Research Topic
Soft matter, encompassing the complex matter state of materials, is an area of topical interest for chemists, physicists, and biologists. Catalysis likewise has been another area that interests chemists, physicists, and engineers alike. An overlap between these two disciplines of chemistry, though possible, has not yet received focused interest. In the context of heterogeneous catalysis, chemists and engineers essentially employ concepts of soft matter for studying and designing reactions. On the other hand, for soft-matter science tuning of non-covalent (supramolecular) interactions, interface phenomena involving these interactions, differential phase behavior, and the design of particulate matter from topology to activity, require chemistry. The present Research Topic is an attempt to reinforce and stimulate the interdisciplinary dialogue between these two areas, with an effort to understand and apply such understanding to solving practical problems persistent in these two areas.
Starting from fundamentals of soft matter ranging from inter-particle interactions, interface phenomena, active matter, to advances in phase studies, as well as an understanding of nucleation and crystallization from the standpoint of soft matter, this Research Topic will address advances in the above avenues and how such advances can accelerate developments in catalysis. Likewise, from fundamental developments in catalysis (especially heterogeneous catalysis), this Research Topic will highlight the use of concepts of soft matter in catalysis. Aspects such as tuning of interface phenomena, using chemical catalysis for inducing motion, employing novel soft-matter catalysts in cascade catalysis, electrocatalysis, and photocatalysis will be addressed. This Research Topic will also highlight the understanding of the origin of heterogeneity in catalysis and its implications in catalysis, bicontinuous interfacially jammed emulsion gels (bijels), nucleation from the standpoint of liquid-liquid phase transitions, and crystallization by particle attachment (CPA).
Studies related to the above topics will be covered and are welcome. More specifically, studies related to the adsorption of colloids to liquid-liquid interfaces in the context of catalysis, the search for particles leading to emulsion stabilization as well as catalysis thereof, and studies of phenomena like pattern formation and dynamic self-assembly in colloidal systems, are welcome in the context of the tuning of inter-particle interactions and interface phenomena with an accent on catalysis. Likewise, studies may encompass the development of nanomotors (active matter) in light of triggering important catalytic reactions. Investigations involving the development of colloidal systems on the basis of time-dependent interactions and their use in performing important functional transformations in organic substrates (cascade catalysis), as well as studies related to electrocatalysis and photocatalytic processes involving colloidal systems, nucleation and crystallization (CPA), and those exploring bijels in the context of catalysis, are welcome.
This Research Topic will feature contributions from emerging researchers in soft matter and catalysis. Topical contributions, especially in the areas of bijels and CPA with an eye toward applications of these concepts in MOFs and coordination chemistry are welcome. In addition to contributions by established senior researchers, this Research Topic welcomes scholarly reviews with new concepts from new entrants and enthusiasts of the subject.
Keywords: soft matter, catalysis
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.