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I am interested in theoretical statistical physics, in particular in the field of soft matter and complex systems. My research field also includes electric double layers and their application to energy- and environmental science. One focus of my work is on structure and correlations in the described systems. In particular, I study For this purpose I exploit the theoretical framework of classical density functional theory (DFT), Poisson-Boltzmann formalisms, diffusion equations, Fokker-Planck equations, the Ornstein-Zernike relation, and more. The Ornstein-Zernike relation grants access to structural properties of the systems under investigation.

The most important model system I use is the primitive model of (charged) hard spheres. The impact of this model stems from the fact that many short-ranged repulsive pair potentials from colloidal soft matter systems can be mapped onto that of hard spheres. For this reason, the initially purely theoretical model has been reconstructed in laboratories to unveil even its last secrets.

Electric double layer (EDL)

Figure 1. Sketch of the electric double layer (EDL) at a positively charged flat electrode.

Figure 2. Sketch of (from right to left) a supercapacitor, its porous electrode, and the EDL.

Active Brownian particles

Figure 3. Snapshot of a system of active Brownian disks.

© A. Härtel (2017)