The in-house research of the Structure of Soft Matter Group spans the broad field of soft matter and related areas in biophysics and materials science. The group offers a wide range of techniques, so the focus of in-house research is often specific to the individual beamlines and involves a strong overlap with the user program. Needs for non-synchrotron-based complementary techniques and advanced modeling and simulations naturally lead to important collaborations with many outside groups.

Self-assembly is at the origin of many fascinating features of soft matter. The recent focus of in-house research at ID02 is on detailed understanding of the complex pathways of self-assembly processes in a wide range of systems, including simple amphiphilic molecules, nanoparticles, natively unfolded proteins, etc.

Work at ID09B focuses on in unraveling the pathways and energetics of chemical reactions in simple molecules to complex biological macromolecules following photoexcitation by a picosecond laser pulse.

The complex dynamics of kinetically arrested systems such as colloidal glasses and gels continue to be a puzzling issue in soft matter physics. The emphasis of in-house research at ID10A is on non-diffusive dynamics of such arrested states and their aging behavior. The liquid-liquid, liquid-solid and liquid-vapor interfaces provide exquisite media for self-organization of complex molecules and chemical reactions.

The focus of research at ID10B is to unravel the self-assembled structures of organic molecules, nanoparticles, proteins, etc., at interfaces with liquids. The macroscopic properties of many soft matter materials and biomaterials are often determined by their hierarchical structure. ID13 exploits nano- and microbeam techniques to elucidate such hierarchical structures from the molecular scale to the microscopic range in synthetic and biopolymer materials.

An effort that spans our beamlines is the recently established Partnership for Soft Condensed Matter. Because our techniques require very specific sample preparation methods and environments, it is often challenging to apply multiple techniques to the same sample. One of the important goals of the Partnership to facilitate a multidisciplinary approach for addressing a given problem.