Alan R. Denton

Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator

Ph.D., Physics, Cornell University, 1991
M.Sc., Physics, University of Toronto, 1984
B.A.Sc., Engineering Science, University of Toronto, 1983

Postal Address:

Department of Physics
North Dakota State University
P.O. Box 6050, Dept. 2755
Fargo, ND 58108-6050, U.S.A.

Office:

South Engineering 214B
Tel: (701) 231-7036   Fax: (701) 231-7088
E-mail: alan.denton [at] ndsu [dot] edu


RESEARCH FUNDING: National Science Foundation, DMR-1106331, DMR-0204020; ND-EPSCoR; ACS Petroleum Research Fund.


GRADUATE RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES: Apply with the Graduate School.


UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES:

Students interested in research, please talk with me!


TEACHING

Fall 2019: PHYS 462/662 -- Thermal and Statistical Physics
Spring 2019: PHYS 758 -- Statistical Physics   (syllabus)
Fall 2018: PHYS 462/662 -- Thermal and Statistical Physics   (syllabus)
Spring 2018: PHYS 752 -- Mathematical Methods I   (syllabus)
Fall 2017: PHYS 462/662 -- Thermal and Statistical Physics   (syllabus)
Spring 2017: PHYS 252 -- University Physics II   (syllabus)
Fall 2016: PHYS 462/662 -- Thermal and Statistical Physics   (syllabus)
Spring 2016: PHYS 758 -- Statistical Physics   (syllabus)
Fall 2015: PHYS 752 -- Mathematical Methods I   (syllabus)
Spring 2015: PHYS 463/663 -- Statistical Mechanics   (syllabus)
Fall 2014: PHYS 252 -- University Physics II   (syllabus)
Spring 2014: PHYS 758 -- Statistical Physics   (syllabus)
Fall 2013: PHYS 752 -- Mathematical Methods I   (syllabus)
Spring 2013: PHYS 463/663 -- Statistical Mechanics   (syllabus)
Fall 2012: PHYS 252 -- University Physics II   (syllabus)
Spring 2012: PHYS 370 -- Computational Physics   (syllabus)
Fall 2011: PHYS 485/685 -- Quantum Mechanics I   (syllabus)
Spring 2011: PHYS 782 -- Condensed Matter Physics   (syllabus) (co-taught with Daniel Kroll)
Fall 2010: MNT 756 -- Molecular Modeling of Materials   (syllabus)
Spring 2010: PHYS 370 -- Computational Physics   (syllabus)
Fall 2009: PHYS 485/685 -- Quantum Mechanics I   (syllabus)
Spring 2009: PHYS 752 -- Mathematical Methods in Physics   (syllabus)
Fall 2008: PHYS 370 -- Computational Physics   (syllabus), PHYS 252 -- University Physics II
Spring 2008: PHYS 251R -- University Physics I Recitation (team taught)   (syllabus)
Fall 2007: PHYS 485 -- Quantum Mechanics I   (syllabus)
Spring 2007: PHYS 782 -- Condensed Matter Physics   (syllabus)
Fall 2006: PHYS 251 -- University Physics I   (syllabus)
Spring 2006: PHYS 485 -- Quantum Mechanics I   (syllabus)
Fall 2005: PHYS 758 -- Statistical Physics   (syllabus)
Spring 2005: PHYS 782 -- Solid State Physics II   (syllabus
Fall 2004: PHYS 361 -- Electromagnetic Theory   (syllabus)
Spring 2003: PHYS 758 -- Statistical Physics   (syllabus)
Fall 2002: PHYS 252 -- University Physics II
Spring 2002: PHYS 110 -- Introductory Astronomy
Fall 2001: PHYS 252 -- University Physics II
Spring 2001: PHYS 110 -- Introductory Astronomy
Fall 2000: PHYS 753 -- Mathematical Methods in Physics II

Cool Photos

Magnetic levitation ... Is it magic or physics? (photographer: Hao Wang)

RESEARCH INTERESTS

My group's current research interests focus on equilibrium structure and phase behavior in a variety of condensed matter and biologically relevant systems. Of primary interest are soft materials, including colloids and nanoparticles, polymers and polyelectrolytes, and biomaterials. By developing and applying statistical mechanical and computer simulation methods to model effective interactions between macromolecules, we predict structural and thermodynamic properties of multicomponent soft materials. Our modeling advances fundamental understanding of complex phenomena, including macromolecular crowding, microgel swelling, and stability of colloid-nanoparticle mixtures. The results are relevant for a range of applications, including nanocomposite materials, biosensors, filtration, and drug delivery.

Current Projects


GROUP MEMBERS

Mohammed Alziyadi (Physics Ph.D. student) is performing molecular simulations and Poisson-Boltzmann theory calculations to model ion distributions, osmotic pressure, and swelling in solutions of ionic microgels and microcapsules, with relevance to drug delivery, biosensors, and filtration.

Kurt VanDonselaar (Physics Ph.D. student) is performing Monte Carlo simulations to model conformations (sizes and shapes) of polymers in suspensions of crowders that mutually interact via long-range attractive or repulsive forces. This research has relevance for the structure and function of biopolymers in biological cells.

Alum Club

Matthew Kurtti (B.S. Physics, Spring 2019) performed Monte Carlo simulations to model conformations of polymers amidst crowders that mutually interact via long-range forces, with relevance for the structure and function of biopolymers in biological cells.

Wyatt Davis (M.S. Physics, Spring 2018) is now employed as a Software Engineer with DISTek Integration, Inc. While in the group, he developed Monte Carlo simulations to model crowding of polymers by nanoparticles, with relevance for the function of biopolymers in biological cells.

Vijay Shah (M.S. Physics, Spring 2018) is now a Ph.D. student at Northwestern University. While in the group, he developed molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo simulations to model structure and phase behavior in nanoparticle dispersions, with relevance to self-assembly of superlattices for photovoltaic applications.

Carly Snell (B.S. Physics, Spring 2018) is a now a Ph.D. student at Cornell University. While in the group, she developed Monte Carlo simulations to model swelling, osmotic pressure, and phase behavior of microgel mixtures, which will advance fundamental understanding of crystallization and the glass transition in polydisperse mixtures of soft colloidal particles.

Braden Weight (B.S. Physics and Chemistry, Spring 2018) is now a Master's student at NDSU. While in the group, he applied molecular dynamics simulation to model structure and self-assembly in charged colloidal mixtures and polyelectrolyte gels, with relevance to drug delivery and chemical/biosensors.

Tyler Weyer (B.S. Physics, Spring 2018) is now attending the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. While in the group, he developed Monte Carlo simulations to model swelling and osmotic pressure in ionic microgel dispersions, with relevance to drug delivery and water filtration/purification.

Matthew Urich (B.S. Physics/Mathematics, Spring 2016) is now employed with Epic Systems. While in the group, he developed Monte Carlo simulations of elastic microgel particles to model particle deswelling, structure, and phase behavior in microgel suspensions.

Wei Kang Lim (B.S. Physics/Computer Science, Spring 2015) is now employed with Microsoft. While in the group, he developed Monte Carlo simulations to model depletion and crowding in polymer-nanoparticle mixtures and demixing of binary alloys.

Mary (Mal) Hedrick (B.S. Chemistry, Spring 2016) is now pursuing a Master's in Engineering at The University of Guelph, Canada. While in the group, Mal applied molecular dynamics simulation to model structural and thermodynamic properties of ionic microgel solutions.

Dr. Qiyun Tang (former postdoctoral fellow) is now a postdoctoral fellow at the Institut für Theoretische Physik, Georg-August Universität, Göttingen, Germany. While in the group, he modeled polyelectrolyte microcapsules and ionic microgels using Poisson-Boltzmann theory.

Dr. Jun Kyung Chung (former postdoctoral fellow) is now director of a school in Seoul, South Korea. While in the group, he worked on modeling effective electrostatic interactions in charged colloidal suspensions and ionic microgel solutions and developed molecular dynamics simulations of binary mixtures of charged colloids.

Michael P. Schmidt (B.S. Physics, Spring 2011) developed Monte Carlo simulations to model demixing of colloid-polymer mixtures.

Dr. Emmanuel Mbamala (former postdoctoral fellow) is now a faculty member in the Department of Physics, Federal University of Technology, P.M.B. 1526 Owerri, Nigeria. He worked on modeling the effect of confinement on the size and shape of polymer coils.

Dr. Hao Wang (former postdoctoral fellow) is now a faculty member in the College of Pharmacy, Nankai University, Tianjin, China. He worked on modeling effective interactions between charged colloids and polelectrolyte stars.

PUBLICATIONS


To download articles, please visit my ResearchGate page: Alan Denton

Alan R. Denton and Mohammed O. Alziyadi, "Osmotic Pressure of Permeable Ionic Microgels: Poisson-Boltzmann Theory and Exact Statistical Mechanical Relations in the Cell Model," J. Chem. Phys., in press (2019).   cond-mat

Andrea Scotti, Alan R. Denton, Monia Brugnoni, Judith E. Houston, Ralf Schweins, Igor I. Potemkin, and Walter Richtering, "Deswelling of Microgels in Crowded Suspensions Depends on Cross-Link Density and Architecture," Macromol. 52, 3995-4007 (2019).   article

Samuel L. Brown, Vijay D. Shah, Maria V. Morrell, Mitchell Zubich, Alexander Wagner, Alan R. Denton, and Erik K. Hobbie, "Superlattice formation in colloidal nanocrystal suspensions: Hard-sphere freezing and depletion effects," Phys. Rev. E 98, 062616-1-9 (2018).   article

Wyatt J. Davis and Alan R. Denton, "Influence of Solvent Quality on Conformations of Crowded Polymers," J. Chem. Phys. 149, 124901-1-11 (2018).   cond-mat

Tyler J. Weyer and Alan R. Denton, "Concentration-dependent swelling and structure of ionic microgels: Simulation and theory of a coarse-grained model," Soft Matter 14, 4530-4540 (2018).   cond-mat

Braden M. Weight and Alan R. Denton, "Structure and stability of charged colloid-nanoparticle mixtures," J. Chem. Phys. 148, 114904-1-11 (2018).   cond-mat

Alan R. Denton, "Effective electrostatic interactions in colloid-nanoparticle mixtures," Phys. Rev. E 96, 062610-1-14 (2017).   cond-mat

Matthew Urich and Alan R. Denton, "Swelling, structure, and phase stability of compressible microgels," Soft Matter 12, 9086-9094 (2016).   cond-mat

Alan R. Denton and Qiyun Tang, "Counterion-induced swelling of ionic microgels," J. Chem. Phys. 145, 164901-1-10 (2016).   cond-mat

Wei Kang Lim and Alan R. Denton, "Depletion-induced forces and crowding in polymer-nanoparticle mixtures: Role of polymer shape fluctuations and penetrability," J. Chem. Phys. 144, 024904-1-10 (2016).   cond-mat

Wei Kang Lim and Alan R. Denton, "Influence of polymer shape on depletion potentials and crowding in colloid-polymer mixtures," Soft Matter 12, 2247-2252 (2016).   cover image   article (open access)   cond-mat

Qiyun Tang and Alan R. Denton, "Ion density deviations in semipermeable ionic microcapsules," Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 17, 11070-11076 (2015).   cond-mat

Mary M. Hedrick, Jun Kyung Chung, and Alan R. Denton, "Structure and osmotic pressure of ionic microgel dispersions," J. Chem. Phys. 142, 034904-1-12 (2015).   cond-mat

Qiyun Tang and Alan R. Denton, "Ion density deviations in polyelectrolyte microcapsules: Influence on biosensors," Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 16, 20924-20931 (2014).   cond-mat

Wei Kang Lim and Alan R. Denton, "Polymer crowding and shape distributions in polymer-nanoparticle mixtures," J. Chem. Phys. 141, 114909-1-10 (2014).   cond-mat

A. R. Denton, "Crowding in Polymer-Nanoparticle Mixtures," in New Models of the Cell Nucleus: Crowding, Entropic Forces, Phase Separation, and Fractals, R. Hancock and K. W. Jeon, Eds., International Review of Cell and Molecular Biology 307, pp. 27-72 (UK: Academic Press, 2014). Elsevier's copyright policy prevents me from posting this article online.   reprint request

A. R. Denton, "Coarse-Grained Modeling of Charged Colloidal Suspensions: From Poisson-Boltzmann Theory to Effective Interactions," in Electrostatics of Soft and Disordered Matter, D. S. Dean, J. Dobnikar, A. Naji, and R. Podgornik, Eds., Proceedings of the CECAM Workshop "New Challenges in Electrostatics of Soft and Disordered Matter," pp. 201-215 (Pan Stanford, Singapore, 2014).   cond-mat

J. B. Miller, A. C. P. Usselman, R. J. Anthony, U. R. Kortshagen, A. J. Wagner, A. R. Denton, and E. K. Hobbie, "Phase separation and the 'coffee-ring' effect in polymer-nanocrystal mixtures," Soft Matter 10, 1665-1675 (2014).   cover image   article

J. K. Chung and A. R. Denton, "Effective electrostatic interactions in mixtures of charged colloids," Phys. Rev. E 88, 022306-1-9 (2013).   cond-mat

A. R. Denton and M. P. Schmidt, "Exploring Fluctuations and Phase Equilibria in Fluid Mixtures via Monte Carlo Simulation," Eur. J. Phys. 34, 475-487 (2013).   cond-mat

Ben Lu and Alan R. Denton, "Crowding of polymer coils and demixing in nanoparticle-polymer mixtures," J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 23, 285102-1-9 (2011).   cond-mat

A. R. Denton, "Poisson-Boltzmann Theory of Charged Colloids: Limits of the Cell Model for Salty Suspensions," J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 22, 364108-1-12 (2010).   cond-mat

B. Lu and A. R. Denton, "Charge Renormalization, Thermodynamics, and Structure of Deionized Colloidal Suspensions," Communications in Computational Physics 7, 235-249 (2010). Special Issue on Structure Formation and Evolution in Soft Matter/Complex Fluid Systems.   cond-mat

A. R. Denton, "Charge Renormalization, Effective Interactions, and Thermodynamics of Deionized Colloidal Suspensions," J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 20, 494230-1-8 (2008).   cond-mat

A. R. Denton, "Effective Interactions in Soft Materials," in Nanostructured Soft Matter: Experiment, Theory, Simulation and Perspectives, A. V. Zvelindovsky, Ed., pp. 395-433 (Springer, Dordrecht, 2007).   reprint   cond-mat

A. R. Denton, "Electroneutrality and Phase Behavior of Colloidal Suspensions," Phys. Rev. E 76 , 051401 (2007).   cond-mat

Ben Lu and Alan R. Denton, "Phase Separation of Charge-Stabilized Colloids: A Gibbs Ensemble Monte Carlo Simulation Study," Phys. Rev. E 75 , 061403-1-10 (2007).   cond-mat

A. R. Denton, "Phase Separation in Charge-Stabilized Colloidal Suspensions: Influence of Nonlinear Screening," Phys. Rev. E 73, 041407-1-14 (2006).   cond-mat

Hao Wang and Alan R. Denton, "Effective Electrostatic Interactions in Solutions of Polyelectrolyte Stars with Rigid Rodlike Arms," J. Chem. Phys. 123, 244901-1-9 (2005).   cond-mat

Alan R. Denton and Matthias Schmidt, "Mixtures of Charged Colloid and Neutral Polymer: Influence of Electrostatic Interactions on Demixing and Interfacial Tension," J. Chem. Phys. 122, 2449111-1-7 (2005).   cond-mat

H. Wang and A. R. Denton, "Effective Electrostatic Interactions in Suspensions of Polyelectrolyte Brush-Coated Colloids," Phys. Rev. E 70, 041404-1-8 (2004).   cond-mat

A. R. Denton, "Nonlinear Screening and Effective Electrostatic Interactions in Charge-Stabilized Colloidal Suspensions," Phys. Rev. E 70, 031404-1-18 (2004).   cond-mat (long)   cond-mat (short)

A. R. Denton, "Counterion Penetration and Effective Electrostatic Interactions in Solutions of Polyelectrolyte Stars and Microgels, " Phys. Rev. E 67, 011804-1-10 (2003).   reprint

M. Schmidt, A. R. Denton, and J. M. Brader, "Fluid Demixing in Colloid-Polymer Mixtures: Influence of Polymer Interactions, " J. Chem. Phys. 118, 1541-1549 (2003).   reprint

A. R. Denton and M. Schmidt, "Colloid-Induced Polymer Compression, " J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 14, 12051-12062 (2002).   cond-mat

M. Schmidt and A. R. Denton, "Demixing of Colloid-Polymer Mixtures in Poor Solvents," Phys. Rev. E 65, 061410-1-6 (2002).   cond-mat

M. Schmidt and A. R. Denton, "Colloids, Polymers, and Needles: Demixing Phase Behavior," Phys. Rev. E 65, 021508-1-8 (2002).   cond-mat

A. R. Denton, "Effective Interactions and Volume Energies in Charged Colloids: Linear Response Theory," Phys. Rev. E 62, 3855-3864 (2000).   cond-mat

J. Roth and A. R. Denton, "Solid-Phase Structures of the Dzugutov Pair Potential, " Phys. Rev. E 61, 6845-6857 (2000).   cond-mat

H. Löwen, M. Watzlawek, C. N. Likos, M. Schmidt, A. Jusufi, A. R. Denton, "Phase transitions in colloidal suspensions and star polymer solutions," J. Phys.: Condensed Matter 12, A465-469 (2000).

A. R. Denton, "Effective Interactions and Volume Energies in Charge-Stabilized Colloidal Suspensions," J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 11, 10061-10071 (1999).   cond-mat

A. R. Denton, G. Kahl, and J. Hafner, "Freezing of Simple Liquid Metals," J. Non-Crystalline Solids 250-252, 15 (1999).   cond-mat

A. R. Denton and H. Löwen, "Stability of Colloidal Quasicrystals," Phys. Rev. Lett. 81, 469-472 (1998).   cond-mat

A. R. Denton and H. Löwen, "Unusual Phase Behaviour from Peculiar Pair Potentials," Prog. Coll. Int. Sci. 104, 160 (1997) [Proceedings of the International Workshop on Optical Methods and the Physics of Colloidal Dispersions, 30.9 -- 1.10.1996, Mainz, Germany]

A. R. Denton and H. Löwen, "Isostructural Solid-Solid Transitions in Square-Shoulder Systems," J. Phys.: Condens. Matt. 9, L1 (1997).

A. R. Denton and H. Löwen, "Influence of Short-Range Attractive and Repulsive Interactions on the Phase Behaviour of Model Colloidal Suspensions," J. Phys.: Condens. Matt. 9, 8907 (1997).

A. R. Denton and J. Hafner, "Thermodynamically Stable One-Component Metallic Quasicrystals," Europhys. Lett. 38, 189 (1997).   cond-mat

A. R. Denton and J. Hafner, "Thermodynamically Stable One-Component Quasicrystals: A Density-Functional Survey of Relative Stabilities," Phys. Rev. B 56, 2469 (1997).   cond-mat

A. R. Denton, P. Nielaba, and N. W. Ashcroft, "Density-Functional Theory of Quantum Freezing: Sensitivity to Liquid-State Structure and Statistics," J. Phys.: Condens. Matt. 9, 4061 (1997).   cond-mat

A. R. Denton and P. A. Egelstaff, "Implicit Finite-Size Effects in Computer Simulations," Z. Phys. B 103, 343 (1997).   cond-mat

J. J. Salacuse, A. R. Denton, and P. A. Egelstaff, "Finite-Size Effects in Molecular Dynamics Simulations: Static Structure Factor and Compressibility I. Theoretical Method," Phys. Rev. E 53, 2382 (1996).

J. J. Salacuse, A. R. Denton, P. A. Egelstaff, M. Tau, and L. Reatto, "Finite-Size Effects in Molecular Dynamics Simulations: Static Structure Factor and Compressibility II. Application to a Model Krypton Fluid," Phys. Rev. E 53, 2390 (1996).

A. R. Denton, N. W. Ashcroft, and W. A. Curtin, "Density-Functional Approach to the Equation of State of a Hard-Sphere Crystal," Phys. Rev. E 51, 65 (1995).

A. R. Denton, C. G. Gray, and D. E. Sullivan, "Orientational Ordering of Surfactant Monolayers Adsorbed at the Air-Water Interface: Structural Model and Fit to Neutron Reflectivity Data," Chem. Phys. Lett. 219, 310-318 (1994).

A. R. Denton and N. W. Ashcroft, "Weighted-Density-Functional Theory of Nonuniform Fluid Mixtures: Application to the Structure of Binary Hard-Sphere Mixtures Near a Hard Wall," Phys. Rev. A 44, 8242-8248 (1991).

A. R. Denton and N. W. Ashcroft, "Density-Functional Approach to the Structure of Classical Uniform Fluids," Phys. Rev. A 44, 1219-1227 (1991).

A. R. Denton, N. W. Ashcroft, "Vegard's Law," Phys. Rev. A 43, 3161-3164 (1991).

A. R. Denton, P. Nielaba, K. J. Runge and N. W. Ashcroft, "Freezing of a Quantum Hard-Sphere Liquid at Zero Temperature: A Density-Functional Approach," J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 3, 593-607 (1991).

A. R. Denton and N. W. Ashcroft, "Weighted-Density-Functional Theory of Nonuniform Fluid Mixtures: Application to Freezing of Binary Hard-Sphere Mixtures," Phys. Rev. A 42, 7312-7329 (1990).

A. R. Denton, P. Nielaba, K. J. Runge, N. W. Ashcroft, "Freezing of a Quantum Hard-Sphere Liquid at Zero Temperature: A Density-Functional Approach," Phys. Rev. Lett. 64, 1529-1532 (1990).

A. R. Denton and N. W. Ashcroft, "Reply to Comment on 'Modified Weighted-Density-Functional Theory of Nonuniform Classical Liquids'," Phys. Rev. A 41, 2224-2226 (1990).

A. R. Denton and N. W. Ashcroft, "Modified Weighted-Density-Functional Theory of Nonuniform Classical Liquids," Phys. Rev. A 39, 4701-4708 (1989).

A. R. Denton and N. W. Ashcroft, "High-Order Direct Correlation Functions of Uniform Classical Liquids," Phys. Rev. A 39, 426-429 (1989).

R. C. Desai and A. R. Denton, "Fractal Properties of Clusters During Spinodal Decomposition," in On Growth and Form, ed. H. E. Stanley, N. Ostrowsky, pp. 237-243 (Martinus Nijhoff, Dordrecht, 1986).


Old Seminars (2000-2008)

CECAM Workshop on "Effective Interactions and Phase Transitions in Colloidal Suspensions," June 28-30, 1999, Lyon, France.


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Last modified 22 July 2019 by Alan Denton

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