Complex Materials : Frustrated Self-Assembly and Nonlinear Elasticity
This thesis is divided into two parts with little overlap. The first part deals with the pathological self-assembly of normally soluble proteins. In a number of cases, they tend to form « frustrated » aggregates which grow only in one direction. We hereby study the shape and size of the equilibrium clusters formed by particles with directional interactions. This investigation hopefully leads to a better understanding of the underlying mechanism of fiber-formation.
The second part focuses on the transmission of internal stresses in complex materials such as biological fiber networks and granular matter. We develop a continuum model of such materials, which accounts for the measured asymmetry in their response to tension versus compression. We show analytically and numerically that this may lead fibrous networks to rectify internal stresses towards contraction, and granular media to rectify towards expansion.
M. Lenz (directeur de thèse