Liquids and Complex Fluids Group

This is an IOP special interest group, which is a community of IOP members focused on a particular discipline, application or area of interest. Special interest groups allow members to connect and share knowledge and ideas. The IOP funds groups to deliver a range of activities including events, prizes and bursaries. All of our groups are driven by members.

About the group

As a special interest, member-driven group, we are interested in structure and dynamics from microscopic to mesoscopic, and macroscopic length scales. Our work encompasses systems that range from ʽsimpleʼ liquids to complex fluids and soft materials. These include:

  • polymers
  • emulsions
  • gels
  • foams
  • colloids
  • liquid crystals

We also look at their biological counterparts. 

We make advances in physics research on the liquid state of:

  • matter
  • complex fluids
  • soft condensed matter 

We do this by collaborating with theorists, experimentalists and computer simulators.

We enjoy close links with the:

What the group does

Topics we cover include:

  • liquid mixtures and solvation phenomena
  • liquids and glasses under extreme conditions
  • confined liquids and fluids at interfaces
  • the glass transition and arrested states of matter (including the structure of glasses and amorphous solids)
  • crystal growth in liquids
  • self-assembly from solution

This interdisciplinary field has industrial links to:

  • pharmacology 
  • petroleum and plastics
  • food 
  • personal care 

Physicists are interested in the physical realisation of ideal model systems working with:

  • statistical mechanics
  • liquids
  • elasticity
  • flow behaviour and rheology
  • non-equilibrium phenomena

Liquids and complex fluids are poorly addressed in the traditional undergraduate curriculum. We inform postgraduate education, in graduate schools working across disciplines, for example. 

We also develop new instrumentation and sophisticated data interpretation tools for work on liquids and complex fluids in UK supported X-ray and neutron sources. 

Would you like to join this group?

Group physics prizes and competitions

Liquids and Complex Fluids Early Career Award

The prize is awarded biennially to an exceptional scientist, in the early stages of their career, working in the broadly defined area of Liquids and Complex Fluids. 

The prize is £250 and a certificate. The winner may will be asked to give a lecture at a general meeting.

Nominees will:

  • have made a significant contribution to the development or reputation of physics in the UK or Ireland
  • be in the first 12 years of your career (allowing for career breaks) following the award of a first degree, for example

You cannot be nominated if you are:

  • a paid employee of the Institute
  • member of the Institute’s Council
  • under contract to the Institute
  • a paid employee of the Institute

More information




Lorenzo Di Michele

University of Cambridge


Dr Kislon Voitchovsky

University of Durham 


Anita Zeidler

University of Bath


James Adams

University of Surrey


Dirk Aarts

University of Oxford

Group events

Find group events on the IOP events portal.


February 2020 PDF, 438KB)
February 2019
 (PDF, 3.56MB)
January 2018 (PDF, 901KB)
December 2015 (PDF, 6.47MB)
January 2015 (PDF, 6.47 MB)
October 2013 (PDF, 418KB)
December 2012 (PDF, 393KB)
September 2011 (PDF, 1.62 MB)

Useful links

We strengthen our collaborations with links to:

Committee and contacts

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