Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Dr. Steinbock's Office: CSL 3001
Graduate Offices and Laboratory: CSL 3802
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-4390
NSF Division Chemistry
NSF Division of Materials Research
The target of a traditional chemical process is usually the end product of a well-stirred reaction system. This tried and trusted approach simplifies problems and allows the methodical design of products and materials. However nature does not work that way, and in fact typically operates in unmixed systems at conditions far from thermodynamic equilibrium.
We believe that there is much to learn from self-organization in natural systems, both at the fundamental and applied level. Accordingly, our research focuses on non-equilibrium systems with two main objectives: understand and control. Our work spans diverse topics from cardiac biophysics and enzymatic catalysis to inorganic materials synthesis via unorthodox and biomimetic pathways.
For explanations over each of our current projects, click here.
A dissolving (and evaporating) drop of dichloromethane floating on water containing a surfactant ([CTAB]=0.25mM). There is NO external intervention; this is spontaneous, selforganized motion! The viewed area is approx. 1 inch wide and the movie plays close to real time.
Numerical simulation of a scroll wave in an excitable, three-dimensional system. The rotating wave (golden areas) is pinned to an unexcitable, double-torus-shaped obstacle (blue). Rotation occurs around both obstacle holes. Notice that wave traverses the holes in different directions. This situation creates a two-armed scroll wave in the middle of the double torus and one-armed scrolls along the unbranched rings. This simulations is based on the Barkley model and describes the reaction-diffusion dynamics of one activator and one inhibitor species.
Simulation of a complex vortex pattern in an excitable reaction-diffusion system. The blue spheres are unexcitable obstacles. The vortex waves (orange) rotate around the white lines. The latter are called filaments and form the rotation backbone of the wave pattern. Filaments cannot end in the middle of the system but must either terminate at the system walls or the embedded obstacles. This simulation is based on the Barkley model.