Julian Helfferich was born and raised in Freiburg, Germany. Following his graduation from Humboldt University of Berlin in 2011 with a diploma in physics, he joined the "International Research Training Group Soft Matter" and earned his PhD in physics under the joint supervision of Alexander Blumen (University of Freiburg) and Jörg Baschnagel (Institut Charles Sadron/Université de Strasbourg). The title of his PhD thesis is "Glass dynamics in the continuous time random walk framework."
Following his successful thesis, Julian Helfferich received a grant from the German Research Foundation (DFG) to join the group of Juan de Pablo at the University of Chicago for one year, where he has continued his research since August 2015.
Physical vapor deposition has been shown to produce glasses with extraordinary low enthalpy and potential energies, properties that earned them the term "ultrastable glasses" both in simulations and experiments. These extremely well-relaxed glasses represent a state that is of extreme interest in the theory of glasses but has, until recently, been inaccessible by numerical simulations. The new simulation protocol to create vapor-deposited glasses thus opens a new window into the study of glasses.
In particular, it is of great interest to the group how the low enthalpy reflects on the dynamics of the glass. One of the goals is to study the melting behavior and compare it to theoretical predictions. Another goal is to test other deposition protocols, besides vapor deposition, that are promising in achieving a similar or even higher stability.
Sidky, Hythem, et al. "Ssages: Software suite for advanced general ensemble simulations." The Journal of chemical physics 148.4 (2018): 044104.
Helfferich, Julian, et al. "Inherent structure energy is a good indicator of molecular mobility in glasses." Soft matter 12.27 (2016): 5898-5904.