Monica Olvera de la Cruz Lawyer Taylor Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry; Professor Chemical and Biological Engineering (by courtesy); Professor, Physics and Astronomy (by courtesy)

Research Interests

The Olvera de la Cruz research group investigates physical phenomena related to electrostatics in soft-matter physics, both analytically and computationally in collaboration with various experimental groups at Northwestern. Recent topics include studying electrostatic-driven co-assembly, DNA adsorption in situ, electrostatic spontaneous symmetry-breaking of ionic fibers and membranes, interfacial adsorption and phase-segregation dynamics of complex fluids such as multicomponent blends and molecular electrolytes, as well as analyzing the roles of dielectric heterogeneities and of water in the solubility of charged nano-particles in electrolyte solutions.

Selected Publications

N.E. Jackson, B.M. Savoie, K.L. Kohlstedt, M. Olvera de la Cruz, G. Schatz, L.X. Chen and M.A. Ratner, "Controlling conformations of conjugated polymers and small molecules: The role of nonbonding interactions," J. Am. Chem. Soc. 135(28), 10475-10483 (2013).

C.E. Sing, J.W. Zwanikken and M. Olvera de la Cruz, "Effect of ion-ion correlations on polyelectrolyte gel collapse and reentrant swelling," Macromolecules 46(12), 5053-5065 (2013)

Ting Li, R. Sknepnek and M. Olvera de la Cruz "Thermally Active Hybridization Drives the Crystallization of DNA-functionalized Nanoparticles," J. Am. Chem. Soc.135, 8535-8541(2013).

G.S. Longo, M. Olvera de la Cruz, and I. Szleifer "pH-Controlled Nano-Aggregation in Amphiphilic Polymer Conetworks," ACS Nano 7 (3), 2693-2704 (2013).

G.I. Guerrero-Garcia and M. Olvera de la Cruz "Inversion of the Electric Field at the Electrified Liquid−Liquid Interface," J. Chem. Theory Comput. 9, 1-7 (2013).

C. Leung, L. Palmer, B.F. Qiao, S. Kewalramani, R. Sknepnek, C. Newcomb, M. Greenfield, G. Vernizzi, S. Stupp, M. Bedzyk, and M. Olvera de la Cruz, "Molecular Crystallization Controlled by pH Regulates Mesoscopic Membrane Morphology,"ACS Nano 6, 10901-10909(2012).

V. Jadhao, F. J. Solis, and M. Olvera de la Cruz, "Simulation of charged systems in heterogeneous dielectric media via a true energy functional," Phys. Rev. Letters 109, 223905 (2012).

K. Wu, P.K. Jha, and M. Olvera de la Cruz, "Pattern Selection in Polyelectrolyte Gels by Nonlinear Elasticity," Macromolecules 45, 6652-6657 (2012).

T.I.N.G. Li, R. Sknepnek, R.J. Macfarlane, C.A. Mirkin and M. Olvera de la Cruz, "Modeling the Crystallization of Spherical Nucleic Acid Nanoparticle Conjugates with Molecular Dynamics Simulations," Nano Letters 12(5), 2509-2514 (2012).

R. Sknepnek, G. Vernizzi, and M. Olvera de la Cruz, “Shape change of nano-containers via a reversible ionic buckling,” Phys. Rev. Lett., 106, 215504 (2011).