Mario Markus Prize for Ludic Sciences for Juliane Simmchen

Mario Markus Prize for Ludic Sciences for Juliane Simmchen

Author: ChemistryViews

Dr. Juliane Simmchen, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK, and Technical University of Dresden, Germany, has received the Mario Markus Prize for Ludic Sciences from the German Chemical Society (GDCh). She received the prize for a publication in which she investigated biomimetic behavior in artificially created active matter [1].

The award honors scientific work in the field of natural sciences that is characterized by its playful character and is endowed with EUR 10,000. The award ceremony took place on January 30, 2024, as part of a public event on the premises of the Physical Society in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The prize is financed by Professor Mario Markus, Dortmund, Germany, who dedicated himself to ludic science and coined this term.

Juliane Simmchen investigates how microparticles can be moved in liquids in a targeted manner. While people can move through the water with deliberate movements when swimming, in order to move in liquids, microparticles have to be permanently supplied with energy and equipped with a kind of “motor”. In the award-winning publication, Simmchen observed a special phenomenon: The artificial magnetic and photocatalytic “microswimmers” she produced crossed a line of light and then changed direction without any additional stimulus. To find out why the microswimmers swim “back to the light,” she looked at different influences. She found that neither the magnetic field nor the hydrogen peroxide content of the surrounding solution had any significant effects. Instead, the size of the particles is crucial because it influences the rotational diffusion time and the particles’ Brownian motion. These results show how simple physical effects can lead to complex but stable behavior.

Juliane Simmchen was born in 1986 and studied chemistry at the Technical University of Dresden, where she graduated with work in analytical chemistry in 2010. She completed her Ph.D. in materials science in 2014 at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2) at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain. After stays at the Max Plank Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart, Germany, and at the Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Físicas, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, she returned to the Technical University of Dresden in 2016 as a Researcher. Since 2016, she has been a Freigeist Fellow on the topic of “Light-driven microswimmers”. Since 2022, she has also been teaching at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK. In 2022, the GDCh awarded Simmchen the Carl Duisberg Memorial Award for her research.



Selected Publications by Juliane Simmchen


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