A new class of artificial atoms, such as synthetic nanocrystals, colloids or vortices in superconductors, naturally self-assemble into ordered arrays. This property makes them applicable to the design of novel solids, and devices whose properties often depend on the response of such assemblies to the action of external forces. We have studied the formation of topological defects in superconducting vortex arrays and in colloidal crystals. Topological defects play a key role in the deformation crystalline materials on curved geometries which we have recently studied along the mechanics of sheared colloidal glasses and polycrystals. Recent work on soft matter also involved biological materials such as collagen networks
C. Negri, A. L. Sellerio, S. Zapperi, M. C. Miguel, Deformation and failure of curved colloidal crystal shells Proceedings of National Academy of Science (PNAS) 112, 14545 (2015)
M.-C. Miguel, A. M. Mughal and S, Zapperi, “Laminar Flow of a Sheared Vortex Crystal: Scars in Flat Geometry”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 245501 (2011).
M. C. Miguel and S. Zapperi, “Tearing transition and plastic flow in superconducting thin films”, Nature Mat. 2, 477 (2003).