Viviana is a passionate scientist originally from Colombia. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering and a Master's degree in Materials Science from Universidad Nacional de Colombia Sede Medellín, where she conducted research on the assembly of nematic colloids under the guidance of Professor Hernández-Ortiz. As a Fulbright Scholar with funding from Colciencias, she continued to pursue her academic career in the US.
Since joining the PME in the autumn of 2016, Viviana has been working under the guidance of Professor de Pablo to develop models and methods for liquid crystalline materials. Her research is focused on understanding their response to external stimuli and exploring their potential applications as sensing devices.
In her spare time, Viviana enjoys spending time in the kitchen, trying out new recipes and experimenting with different ingredients. Her unique hobby is “collecting hobbies”, and is currently exploring the fiber arts. When she’s not honing her knitting skills, she enjoys teaching new tricks to her (somewhat) stubborn dog.
Liquid crystals have become ubiquitous in display technology, but this material has a much larger potential for applications, thanks to its peculiar properties. This mesophase deforms under shear stress, exhibits internal microstructure due to the anisotropy of its molecules, and the molecular ordering is affected by external fields, confinement, surface chemistry, or the presence of foreign agents. In order to create avenues for engineering new materials and devices, we resort to theory aided by computational methods.
Viviana’s research combines software development and the study of colloids assembly. She is implementing novel methods to simulate liquid crystals at the continuum scale and improving the methods built in the de Pablo group in order to broaden the applicability to systems with anisotropic elasticity and complex geometries. She is also interested in colloids assembly at curved surface and how the interplay of elasticity, anchoring, and geometry affect the stability of hierarchical structures.
Reconfigurable Multicompartment Emulsion Drops Formed by Nematic Liquid Crystals and Immiscible Perfluorocarbon Oils
Wang, Xin, et al. "Reconfigurable Multicompartment Emulsion Drops Formed by Nematic Liquid Crystals and Immiscible Perfluorocarbon Oils." Langmuir 35.49 (2019): 16312-16323.
Fluctuations and phase transitions of uniaxial and biaxial liquid crystals using a theoretically informed Monte Carlo and a Landau free energy density
Villada-Gil, Stiven, et al. "Fluctuations and phase transitions of uniaxial and biaxial liquid crystals using a theoretically informed Monte Carlo and a Landau free energy density." Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 31.17 (2019): 175101.
Educating local radial basis functions using the highest gradient of interest in three dimensional geometries
Palacio‐Betancur, Viviana, et al. "Educating local radial basis functions using the highest gradient of interest in three dimensional geometries." International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering 110.7 (2017): 603-617.