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Mykola Tasinkevych

Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology


I currently lead the School of Science of Technology theoretical research in active colloids, superhydrophobic and slippage properties of nanotextured surfaces, liquid crystal-colloid composites, capillary interaction-driven colloidal self-assembly at curved fluid interfaces, effects of topologically nontrivial confinements on the structure of liquid crystals and topological defects. I have published 75 peer-reviewed papers, and have attracted grant funding as PI or Co-I of €1M from the EU, Germany (DAAD and DFG), and Portugal (FCT). My teaching contributions include supervising Bachelors and Masters projects in Physics, delivering lectures and seminars on quantum and classical mechanics, digital techniques, and current topics in physics.

Career overview

After completing my PhD in 1999, I was awarded a 3-year postdoctoral fellowship from the FCT and joined the ULisboa (1999-2003). Then I moved as a postdoc to the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Metals Research in Stuttgart, where after 3 years I became a senior scientist. I led research on wetting, nematic colloids, active colloids, and secured as a principal investigator (PI) grants from Germany (DFG) and the EU (FP7) (2007-2016). Next, after 1 year as a senior research associate at Northwestern University (USA), I was awarded in 2017 a 5-year fellowship as a PI by FCT, in a highly competitive international call with 10% success rate, to work at the ULisboa. My research activities focus on interfacial soft condensed matter and often include collaborations with experimentalists. The most impactful were my papers on guiding self-propellers with patterned surfaces ; active colloids as micromotors; nanoparticles in liquid crystals; and on superhydrophobic surfaces.

I have supervised and co-supervised 15 students and postdocs. As a PI I was awarded 5 grants (DAAD, DFG, FCT, EU FP7) to hire PhD students, postdocs and to reinforce international collaborations across Europe and the USA, raising a total of EUR880k. I was an invited speaker at 12 international conferences and workshops and delivered 28 invited seminars at various institutions. I was in the organising committees of 7 international workshops, 3 of which were entirely funded by dedicated grants, in a total of EUR136k.

In 2017-2021, I held a FCT developing grant (IF/00322/2015) to study the behaviour of self-propelled particles in confinement and in complex media, and in 2020 I secured, in a highly competitive Portuguese call with a 6% success rate, a major FCT grant (PTDC/FIS-MAC/5689/2020) to work on dynamical phenomena in systems of topological solitons and nanoparticles. I was a visiting professor at Northwestern University in 2018 and 2019 to work on modelling magneto-elastic materials and to co-supervising a PhD student; and in 2022 at University of Colorado Boulder, to work on liquid crystal-enabled nanoparticle self-assembly.

In September 2021, I joined the Physics and Mathematics Department at Nottingham Trent University as a senior lecturer.

Research areas

* Liquid crystal-enable nanoparticle self-assembly: topological defects in liquid crystals (LCs); effective interactions between nanoparticles mediated by LC distortions; theoretical modelling and numerical simulations of the phase behaviour and material properties of LC-nanoparticles composites.

* Chemically active microswimmers: optimising the velocity of microswimmers as a function of their shape and surface chemistry; microswimmers as carriers of microcargo; confinement effects and motion control; collective properties and self-assembly of active colloids.

* Wetting of patterned surfaces: morphologies of liquid films on geometrically or chemically structured surfaces; superhydrophobic and slippage properties of nanotextured surfaces.

* Capillary interaction at curved interfaces: interface-mediated interaction between colloidal particles trapped at the surfaces of liquid droplets; capillary force-driven colloidal self-assembly at curved fluid interfaces.

External activity

Major active collaborators include:

  • Prof. Smalyukh at the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA, whose group works on self-assembly of nano- and micro-objects dispersed in liquid crystals
  • Prof. Telo da Gama at the University of Lisbon, working on interfacial phenomena in soft active matter
  • Prof. Uspal at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, who investigate active colloidal particle at structured environments
  • Dr. Ryabov at Charles University, who study colloidal systems far from equilibrium


1.  A. Ryabov and M. Tasinkevych, Diffusion coefficient and power spectrum of active particles with a microscopically reversible mechanism of self-propelling, J. Chem. Phys. 157, 104108 (2022).

2. T. C. Rebocho, M. Tasinkevych, and C. S. Dias, Effect of anisotropy on the formation of active particle films, Phys. Rev. E 106, 024609 (2022).

3.  A. Ryabov and M. Tasinkevych, Enhanced diffusivity in microscopically reversible active matter, Soft Matter 18, 3234-3240 (2022).

4. R. Coelho, M. Tasinkevych, M. M. Telo da Gama, Dynamics of flowing 2D skyrmions, J. Phys. Condems. Matter 34, 034001 (2021).

5. G. S. Paulo and M. Tasinkevych, Binary mixtures of locally coupled mobile oscillators, Phys. Rev. E, 104, 014204 (2021).

6. P. Neta, M. Tasinkevych, M. M. Telo da Gama, and C. Dias, Wetting of a solid surface by active matter, Soft Matter, 17, 2468 (2021).

7. B. Fleury, B. Senyuk, M. Tasinkevych, and I. I. Smalyukh, Interplay of electrostatic dipoles and monopoles with elastic interactions in nematic liquid crystal colloids, Nano Lett. 20, 7835 (2020).

8. Y. Yuan, M. Tasinkevych, and I. I. Smalyukh, Colloidal interactions and unusual crystallization versus demixing of elastic multipoles formed by gold mesoflower, Nat. Commun. 11, 188 (2020).

9. M. N. Popescu, A. Dom ́ınguez, W. E. Uspal, M. Tasinkevych, and S. Dietrich, Comment on “Which interactions dominate in active colloids?” [J. Chem. Phys. 150, 061102 (2019)], J. Chem. Phys. 151, 067101 (2019).

10. A. Giacomello, L. Schimmele, S. Dietrich, M. Tasinkevych, Recovering superhydrophobicity in nanoscale and macroscale surface textures, Soft Matter 15, 7462-7471 (2019).

11. W. E. Uspal, M. N. Popescu, S. Dietrich, M. Tasinkevych, Active Janus colloids at chemically structured surfaces, New. J. Phys. 150, 204904 (2019).

12. C. A. Brisbois, M. Tasinkevych, P. Vazquez-Montejo, M. O. de la Cruz, Actuation of magnetoelastic membranes in precessing magnetic fields, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 116, 2500 (2019).

13. A. M. Brooks, M. Tasinkevych, S. Sabrina, D. Velegol, A. Sen, K. J. M. Bishop, Shape-directed rotation of homogeneous micromotors via catalytic self-electrophoresis, Nat. Commun. 10, 495 (2019).

14. M. N. Popescu, W. E. Uspal, Z. Eskandari, M. Tasinkevych, and S. Dietrich, Effective squirmer models for self-phoretic chemically active spherical colloids, Eur. Phys. J. E 41, 145 (2018).

15. S. Sabrina, M. Tasinkevych, S. Ahmed, A. M. Brooks, M. Olvera de la Cruz, T. E. Mallouk, and K. J. M.Bishop, Shape-directed microspinners powered by ultrasound, ACS Nano 12, 2939 (2018).

16. Y. Yuan, A. Martinez, B. Senyuk, M. Tasinkevych, and I. I. Smalyukh, Chiral liquid crystal colloids, Nat. Materials 17, 71 (2018).

17. W. E. Uspal, M. N. Popescu, M. Tasinkevych, and S. Dietrich, Shape-dependent guidance of active Janus particles by chemically patterned surfaces, New J. Phys. 20, 015013 (2018).

18. W. E. Uspal, M. N. Popescu, S. Dietrich, and M. Tasinkevych, Perils of ad-hoc  approximations for the activity function of chemically powered colloids, Eur. Phys. J. E 40, 42 (2017).

19. N. M. Silvestre and M. Tasinkevych, Key-lock colloids in a nematic liquid crystal, Phys. Rev. E 95, 012606 (2017).

20. N. M. Silvestre, M. M. Telo da Gama, and M. Tasinkevych, Nematic films at chemically structured surfaces, J. Phys. Condens. Matter. 29, 074002 (2017).

21. R. P. Trivedi, M. Tasinkevych, and I. I. Smalyukh, Nonsingular defects and self-assembly of colloidal particles in cholesteric liquid crystals, Phys. Rev. E. 94, 062703 (2016).

22. A. Giacomello, L. Schimmele, S. Dietrich, and M. Tasinkevych, Perpetual superhydrophobicity, Soft Matter 12, 8927 (2016).

23. H. Jeridi, M. Tasinkevych, T. Othman, and C. Blanc, Colloidal particles in thin nematic wetting films, Langmuir 32, 9097 (2016).

24. J. Heverhagen, M. Tasinkevych, A. Rahman, C. T. Black, and A. Checco, Slip length enhancement in nanofluidic flow using nanotextured superhydrophobic surfaces, Adv. Mater. Interf. 3, 1600303 (2016).

25. W. E. Uspal, M. N. Popescu, S. Dietrich, and M. Tasinkevych, Guiding catalytically active particles with chemically patterned surfaces, Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 048002 (2016).

26. J. Simmchen, J. Katuri, W. E. Uspal, M. N. Popescu, M. Tasinkevych, and S. Sanchez, Topographical pathways guide chemical microswimmers, Nat. Commun. 7, 10598 (2016).

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