Mathematical Sciences

Department staff

Professor Uwe Thiele

Photo of Professor Uwe Thiele

My main interest are dynamic phenomena related to simple, complex and active fluids and soft matter in systems that involve deformable interfaces between fluid phases and substrate-flow interactions. The presence of interfaces makes such flows inherently nonlinear and therefore subject to instabilities that may trigger transitions to intricate spatio-temporal behaviour. An understanding of the resulting phenomena does advance our basic knowledge about the behaviour of soft matter in confined geometries, and is also highly relevant for emerging technologies that employ micro- and nanofluidic flows or phase changes of complex fluids. Particular present projects concern, e.g., the deposition of patterns from evaporating nanoparticle suspensions; the dynamics of depinning, vibrated climbing, or chemically-driven running droplets; the coupling of structural phase transitions and interface deformations in liquid crystals or surfactant solutions; the spreading of aggregates of biological cells; micro-meso parameter passing; and the dynamics of solidification in colloidal suspensions.

The mathematical models I develop and analyse within various local, national and international collaborations, describe the structure-forming interplay of wettability, capillarity, elasticity, chemical reactions and phase transitions with external fields and transport processes on several scales. We employ discrete models on the micro-scale (Monte Carlo and kinetic Monte Carlo models) and continuum models on the meso- and macro-scale (hydrodynamical and dynamical density functional theory). They are derived in the context of statistical physics and nonequilibrium thermodynamics and analysed employing dynamical systems theory, asymptotic techniques, numerical continuation and simulation.

Selected recent publications:

  • U. Thiele, A. J. Archer, and M. Plapp, Thermodynamically consistent description of the hydro- dynamics of free surfaces covered by insoluble surfactants of high concentration. Phys. Fluids 24, 102107 (2012).
  • M. J. Robbins, A. J. Archer, U. Thiele and E. Knobloch, Modelling fluids and crystals using a two- component modified phase field crystal model. Phys. Rev. E 85, 061408 (2012).
  • M. H. Köpf, S. V. Gurevich, R. Friedrich and U. Thiele, Substrate-mediated pattern formation in monolayer transfer: a reduced model. New J. Phys. 14, 023016 (2012).
  • M. J. Robbins, A.J. Archer, and U. Thiele, Modelling the evaporation of thin films of colloidal suspensions using Dynamical Density Functional Theory, J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 23, 415102 (2011).
  • L. Frastia, A. J. Archer and U. Thiele, Dynamical model for the formation of patterned deposits at receding contact lines, Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 077801 (2011).
  • Ph.Beltrame, E.Knobloch, P.Hänggi and U.Thiele, Rayleigh and depinning instabilities of forced liquid ridges on heterogeneous substrates, Phys. Rev. E 83, 016305 (2011).
  • A.Pototsky, A.J.Archer, S.E.Savel’ev, U.Thiele and F.Marchesoni Ratcheting of driven attracting colloidal particles: Temporal density oscillations and current multiplicity Phys. Rev. E 83, 061401 (2011).
  • P. Beltrame and U. Thiele, Time integration and steady-state continuation method for lubrication equations, SIAM J. Appl. Dyn. Syst. 9, 484-518 (2010).
  • K. John and U. Thiele, Self-ratcheting Stokes drops driven by oblique vibrations, Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 107801 (2010).
  • U. Thiele, Thin film evolution equations from (evaporating) dewetting liquid layers to epitaxial growth, J. Phys.-Cond. Mat. 22, 084019 (2010).