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Profile Detail

Robin Selinger


Dr. Robin Selinger joined Kent State’s Liquid Crystal Institute as a professor in the Chemical Physics Interdisciplinary Program in 2005.  She holds her bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in physics from Harvard University. Her research interests lie in theoretical/computational studies in liquid crystals and other soft materials. She works with molecular scale and mesoscale simulation techniques, and a major unifying theme throughout her research is the study of topological defects and their role in transport and microstructure.


Ph.D., Physics, Harvard University, 1989.

A.M., Physics, Harvard University, 1986.

A.B. Cum Laude, Physics, Harvard-Radcliffe College, 1984.

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

  • Computational materials science; molecular scale and mesoscale simulation techniques applied to both hard and soft condensed matter
  • Liquid crystals: phase behavior, transport, and microstructure
  • Chirality in soft condensed matter
  • Mechanics governing shape selection in chiral lipid membranes and nematic elastomers
  • Finite element elastodynamics simulation algorithms
  • Work has been funded by NSF-DMR, NSF-DUE, NSF-CAREER, U.S. Navy, Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society.


    Rebekka E. Breier, Robin L. B. Selinger, Giovanni Ciccotti, Stephan Herminghaus, and Marco G. Mazza, "Spontaneous chiral symmetry breaking in model bacterial suspensions," preprint,

    Seminar, Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, Feb 4, 2014. "When Topology Drives Morphology: the Role of Defects in Shape Evolution of Soft Matter--flash audio/video

    Selinger, Robin, "Toying with Science," MRS Bulletin (September, 2013). (click on PDF)

    Laurens T. de Haan, Vianney Gimenez-Pinto, Andrew Konya, Thanh-Son Nguyen, Julien M. N. Verjans, Carlos Sánchez-Somolinos, Jonathan V. Selinger, Robin L. B. Selinger,* Dirk J. Broer,* Albertus P.H.J. Schenning*, "Accordion-like Actuators of Multiple 3D Patterned Liquid Crystal Polymer Films," Advanced Functional Materials

    Thanh-Son Nguyen, Jun Geng, Robin L. B. Selinger, and Jonathan V. Selinger, "Nematic Order on a Deformable Vesicle: Theory and Simulation," Soft Matter 9, 8314-8326 (2013).

    Virtual poster, "Shape evolution of nematic elastomers  and lipid membranes:  chirality, curvature, and topological defects," presented at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, "The Mathematics of Liquid Crystals" workshop, 2013.

    Yoshiki Sawa, Kenji Urayama, Toshikazu Takigawa, Vianney Gimenez-Pinto, Badel L. Mbanga, Fangfu Ye, Jonathan V. Selinger, Robin L. B. Selinger, "Shape and Chirality Transitions in Off-Axis Twist Nematic Elastomer Ribbons," Phys. Rev. E 88, 022502 (2013). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.88.022502

    Linda S. Hirst,  Adam Ossowski,  Matthew Fraser,  Jun Geng,  Jonathan V. Selinger, and Robin L. B. Selinger, "Morphology transition in lipid vesicles due to in-plane order and topological defects," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences v. 110, (9), 3242-3247 (2013). doi: 10.1073/pnas.1213994110

    Robin L. Blumberg Selinger, Andrew Konya, Alex Travesset, and Jonathan V. Selinger, "Monte Carlo studies of the XY model on two dimensional curved surfaces," J. Phys. Chem B. 115 (48), 13989-13993 (2011). doi:10.1021/jp205128g

    Yoshiki Sawa, Fangfu Ye, Kenji Urayama,  Toshikazu Takigawa, Vianney Gimenez-Pinto, Robin L. B. Selinger, and Jonathan V. Selinger, "Shape selection of twist-nematic-elastomer ribbons," 6364-6368. In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108 (16) (2011). doi:10.1073/pnas.1017658108

    N. Scott Weingarten and Robin L. B. Selinger, "Atomistic simulation studies of size effects in plasticity: compression of single- and polydomain crystals in two dimensions," Modelling Simul. Mater. Sci. Eng. 19, 015006 (2011). doi:10.1088/0965-0393/19/1/015006

    Badel L. Mbanga, Fangfu Ye, Jonathan V. Selinger et al. "Modeling elastic instabilities in nematic elastomers," 051701. In Physical Review E 82 (5) (2010). doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.82.051701

    Robin L. B. Selinger, Badel L. Mbanga, Jonathan V. Selinger, "Modeling liquid crystal elastomers: actuators, pumps, and robots,"In Proceedings of SPIE. 69110A-69110A-5 (2008)doi:10.1117/12.768282

    R. K. Gupta, K. A. Suresh, S. Kumar, L. M. Lopatina, R. L. B. Selinger, and J. V. Selinger, “Spatiotemporal patterns in a Langmuir monolayer due to driven molecular precession,” Phys. Phys Rev. E 78, 041703 (2008). doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.78.041703

    N. S. Weingarten, R. L. B. Selinger, “Size effects and dislocation patterning in two-dimensional bending,” J. Mech. Phys. Solids 55, 1182 (2007). doi:10.1016/j.jmps.2006.11.011

    Diana Farkas and Robin L. B. Selinger, "Atomistics of Fracture," in Handbook of Materials Modeling, Vol. 1 (Methods and Models) edited by S. Yip. (2005).

    Robin L. B. Selinger, J. V. Selinger, A. P. Malanoski, and J. M. Schnur, " Visualizing chiral self-assembly," Chaos 14, S3, (2004). doi:10.1063/1.1821692

    Robin L. B. Selinger, Jonathan V. Selinger, Anthony Malanoski, and Joel M. Schnur, "Shape Selection in Chiral Self-Assembly," Phys. Rev. Lett. 93, 158103 (2004). doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.93.158103

    Nurit Baytch, Robin L. B. Selinger, Jonathan V. Selinger, and R. Shashidhar, "Simulations of helix unwinding in ferroelectric liquid crystals," Phys. Rev. E 68, 041702 (2003). doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.68.041702

    Ming Li and Robin L. B. Selinger, "Molecular dynamics simulation of dislocation instability in a stress gradient," Phys. Rev. B 67, 134108 (2003).

    Robin L. B. Selinger, ``Diffusion in a smectic liquid crystal with screw dislocations,'' Phys. Rev. E. 65, 51702 (2002). doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.65.051702

    Robin L. B. Selinger, B. B. Smith, and Weidong Luo, ``Dislocation Patterning and Vortex Channeling in the XY Model,'' MRS Proc. V. 653 (2001).

    J. Xu, R. L. B. Selinger, J. V. Selinger, and R. Shashidhar, "Monte Carlo Simulation of Liquid-Crystal Alignment and of Chiral Symmetry-Breaking." J. Chem. Phys. 115, 4333 (2001). doi:10.1063/1.1389857

    R. L. B. Selinger and J. M. Corbett, ``Dynamic Fracture in Disordered Media,'' MRS Bulletin 25, 46 (2000).

    Jonathan V. Selinger, Jianling Xu, Robin L. B. Selinger, B. R. Ratna. R. Shashidhar, ``Chiral Modulations in Smectic-A Liquid Crystals Under an Electric Field,'' Phys. Rev. E 62, 666 (2000). doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.62.666

    Ming Li, Brian B. Smith, Robin L. B. Selinger, ``Fingering Instability of Dislocations and Related Defects,'' Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 2306 (1999). doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.82.2306

    John M. Corbett and Robin L. B. Selinger, ``Molecular Dynamics Studies of Interfacial Crack Propagation in Heterogeneous Media,'' MRS Proceedings 539, 209 (1999).

    Jianling Xu, Robin L. B. Selinger, Jonathan V. Selinger, B. R. Ratna, and R. Shashidhar, ``Monte Carlo simulation of smectic liquid crystals and the electroclinic effect: The role of molecular shape,'' Phys. Rev. E 60, 5584 (1999). doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.60.5584

    M. M. Green, J. W. Park, T. Sato, A. Teramoto, S. Lifson, Robin L. B. Selinger, and J. V. Selinger, ``The Macromolecular Route to Chiral Amplification'' Angewandte Chemie 111, 3306 (1999).

    J. V. Selinger, R. L. B. Selinger, S K. Jha, and M. M. Green, ``A Chiral Polymeric Analogy to a One Dimensional Paramagnetic Material,'' Chirality 10, 41 (1998). doi:10.1002/chir.8

    J. V. Selinger and R. L. B. Selinger, ``Cooperative Chiral Order in Polyisocyanates: New Statistical Problems.'' Macromolecules 31, 2488-2492 (1998). doi:10.1021/ma971783k

    J. V. Selinger and R. L. B. Selinger, ``Chiral Order in Copolymers of Chiral and Achiral Units,'' Phys. Rev. E, 55, 1728 (1997). doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.55.1728

    J. V. Selinger and R. L. B. Selinger, "Theory of chiral order in random copolymers," Phys. Rev. Lett. 76, 58 (1996). doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.76.58

    D. Liu, R. L. B. Selinger, and J . D. Weeks, "Modelling Organic Molecular Thin Films: A Reduced Intermolecular Potential for Copper Phthalocyanine," J. Chem. Phys. 105, 4751 (1996). doi:10.1063/1.472801

    R. L. B. Selinger, "Stress-assisted Kosterlitz-Thouless dislocation nucleation: the statistical physics of plastic flow," in Fracture: Instability Dynamics, Scaling, and Ductile/Brittle Behavior, R.L.B. Selinger, J.J. Mecholsky, A. E. Carlsson, and E. R. Fuller, editors, Materials Research Society (Pittsburgh) 1996.

    J. V. Selinger and R . L. B. Selinger, ``Cooperative Chiral Order in Random Copolymers,'' Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 288, 33 (1996). doi:10.1080/10587259608034582

    J. V. Selinger and R. L. B. Selinger, "Theory of chiral defects in Langmuir monolayers," Phys. Rev. E Rapid Comm., 51, R860 (1995). doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.51.R860

    M. F. Sharlowe, R. L. B. Selinger, and W. M. Gelbart, "Cell model and computer simulation studies of layered and hexagonal states of aligned, hard disks versus rods," J. Phys. Chem. 99, 2907 (1995). doi:10.1021/j100009a055

    J. D. Weeks, R. L. B. Selinger, and J. Q. Broughton, "Self-consistent treatment of repulsive and attractive forces in non-uniform liquids," Phys. Rev. Lett. 75, 2694 (1995). doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.75.2694

    R. L. B. Selinger, Ruth Lynden-Bell, and W. M. Gelbart, "Stress-induced failure and melting of ideal solids," J. Chem. Phys. 98, 9808 (1993). doi:10.1063/1.464359

    R. L. B. Selinger, Z.-G. Wang, and W. M. Gelbart, "Fracture at Finite Temperature: a Statistical-thermodynamic approach," p. 501, Complex Fluids, eds. E. B. Sirota, D. Weitz, T. Witten, and J. Israelachvili, Materials Research Society (Pittsburgh) 1992.

    Z.-G. Wang, U. Landman, R. L. B. Selinger, and W. M. Gelbart, "Molecular dynamics study of elasticity and failure of ideal solids," Phys. Rev. B 44, 378-381 (1991). doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.44.378

    R. L. B. Selinger, Z.-G. Wang, W. M. Gelbart, and A . Ben-Shaul, "Statistical-thermodynamic approach to fracture," Phys. Rev. A 43, 4396-4400 (1991). doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.43.4396

    R. L. B. Selinger, Z.-G. Wang, and W. M. Gelbart, "Effect of temperature and small-scale defects on the strength of solids," J. Chem. Phys. 95, 9128-9141 (1991). doi:10.1063/1.461192

    W. M. Gelbart, R. L. B. Selinger, and Z. G. Wang, "Solids under stress: the statistical mechanics of failure", in Lectures on Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics (World Scientific, 1991), edited by M. Lopez de Haro and C. Varea.

    R. L. B. Selinger and H. E. Stanley, "Percolation of interacting diffusing particles," Phys. Rev. A 42, 4845-4852 (1990). doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.42.4845

    S. Havlin, M. Schwartz, R. L. B. Selinger, A. Bunde, and H. E. Stanley, "Universality classes for diffusion in the presence of correlated spatial disorder," Phys. Rev. A 40, 1717 (1989). doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.40.1717

    R. L. B. Selinger, J. Nittmann, and H. E. Stanley, "Inhomogeneous diffusion-limited aggregation," Phys. Rev. A 40, 2590-2601 (1989). doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.40.2590

    R. L. B. Selinger, S. Havlin, F. Leyvraz, M. Schwartz, and H. E. Stanley, "Diffusion in the presence of quenched random bias fields: a two-dimensional generalization of the Sinai model," Phys. Rev. A (Rapid Communications) 40, 6755-6758 (1989). doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.40.6755

    S. Havlin, R. L. B. Selinger, J. Schwartz, H. E. Stanley, and A. Bunde, "Random multiplicative processes and transport in structures with correlated spatial disorder," Phys. Rev. Lett. 61, 1438-1441 (1988). doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.61.1438

    R. L. Blumberg, H. E. Stanley, A. Geiger, and P. Mausbach, "Connectivity of hydrogen bonds in liquid water," J. Chem. Phys. 80, 5230-5241 (1984). doi:10.1063/1.446593

    H. E. Stanley, R. L. Blumberg, A. Geiger, P. Mausbach, and J. Teixeira, "The `locally-structured transient gel' model of water structure," J. de Physique C7, 13-30 (1984). doi:10.1051/jphyscol:1984701

    A. Geiger, P. Mausbach, J. Schnitker, R. L. Blumberg, and H. E. Stanley, "Structure and dynamics of the hydrogen bond network in water by computer simulations," J. de Physique C7, 3-12 (1984). doi:10.1051/jphyscol:1984702

    H. E. Stanley, K. Kang, S. Redner, and R. L. Blumberg, "Novel superuniversal behavior of a random-walk model," Phys. Rev. Lett. 51, 1223-1226 (1983). doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.51.1223

    H. E . Stanley, R. L. Blumberg, and A. Geiger, "Gelation models of hydrogen bond networks in liquid water," Phys. Rev. B 28, 1626-1629 (1983). doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.28.1626

    H. E. Stanley, J. Teixeira, A. Geiger, and R. L. Blumberg, "Interpretation of the unusual behavior of H_2O and D_2O at low temperature, Physica A 106, 260-277 (1981). doi:10.1016/0378-4371(81)90224-7

    R. L. Blumberg, J. Shlifer, and H. E. Stanley, "Monte Carlo tests of universality in a correlated-site percolation problem," J. Phys. A: Math. Gen. 13, L147-L152 (1980). doi:10.1088/0305-4470/13/5/007

    Books/Journals Edited

    R. L. B. Selinger, J. J. Mecholsky, A. E. Carlsson, and E. R. Fuller, editors, Fracture: Instability Dynamics, Scaling, and Ductile/Brittle Behavior, Materials Research Society Proc. 409, (Pittsburgh, 1996).

    G. Beltz, R. L. B. Selinger, K.-S. Kim, and M. P. Marder, editors, Fracture and Ductile vs. Brittle Behavior--Theory, Modelling and Experiment, Materials Research Society Proc. 539, (Pittsburgh, 1999).

    L. P. Kubin, R. L. B. Selinger, J. L. Bassani, and K. Cho, Multiscale Modeling of Materials-2000, Materials Research Society Proc. 653, (Pittsburgh, 2001).

    Robin Selinger and Diana Farkas, guest editors, MRS Bulletin, May 2000.



Full Professor, Chemical Physics Interdisciplinary Program, Kent State University, July, 2005-present.

Associate Professor, Catholic University of America, Department of Physics, 2000-2005; Assistant Professor 1996-2000; Adjunct Assistant Professor, Fall 1995. Tenure awarded in 2001.

Sabbatical visitor, National Inst. of Standards and Technology, summer 2003.

Sabbatical visitor, Naval Research Laboratory, Fall 2002-Spring 2003.

Postdoctoral fellow, National Institute of Standards and Technology 1994-5. Advisor: Robb Thomson.

Postdoctoral fellow, Institute for Physical Science and Technology, University of Maryland, 1992-4. Advisor: John Weeks.

Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Chemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, 1989-92. Advisor: William Gelbart.


Robin Selinger
Department of Chemical Physics
Liquid Crystal Institute
Kent State University
By appointment.
Phone: 330-672-1582
Spring 2015
  • AS 10095 - 999 St : Science Experience
  • CPHY 72650 - 001 Computational Materials Sci
  • CPHY 80299 - 021 Dissertation Ii
  • CPHY 80498 - 026 Research
Summer 2015
  • AS 10095 - 999 St : Science Experience
  • CPHY 80199 - 015 Dissertation I
  • CPHY 80299 - 050 Dissertation Ii
  • CPHY 80498 - 038 Research
Fall 2015
  • CPHY 74495 - 016 St : Scientific Communication
  • CPHY 80199 - 024 Dissertation I
  • CPHY 80299 - 008 Dissertation Ii
  • CPHY 80498 - 006 Research