Heinrich M. Jaeger

Sewell Avery Distinguished Service Professor, Dept. of Physics, James Franck Institute, and the College

Heinrich M. Jaeger
GCIS E-229
773 702-6074
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Heinrich Jaeger received his Ph.D. in physics in 1987, working with Allen Goldman at the University of Minnesota on ultrathin superconducting films. After a postdoc at the University of Chicago, he moved to the Netherlands in 1989 to take up a position as Senior Researcher at the Delft Institute for Microelectronics and Submicrontechnology. He joined the faculty at the University of Chicago in 1991, directing the Chicago Materials Research Center from 2001–2006, and the James Franck Institute from 2007-2010.


The main theme of Jaeger’s research is soft condensed matter experiment, in particular the investigation of materials under conditions far from equilibrium. Such conditions give rise to a wealth of complex phenomena, and insights gained can be used to design new classes of smart materials. One focus of Jaeger’s work are granular materials, which are large aggregates of particles in far-from-equilibrium configurations, that exhibit properties intermediate between those of ordinary solids and liquids. His group’s projects explore how controlling this behavior provides new opportunities to create stress-adaptive materials for high-efficiency energy absorption, soft robotic systems that can change shape or compliance, and architectural structures that are fully recyclable. A new direction is the use of ultrasonic levitation to manipulate sub-millimeter-sized particles, control the pathways in which levitated particles assemble into soft solids, and to study the interaction of these freely floating structures both with the sound field. With particle sizes in the range from nanometers to micrometers, the research group investigates concentrated suspension of particles in liquids. Here the focus is on the highly non-Newtonian response to applied stress and the exploration of shear-induced jamming phase tranistions.  Finally, with particles a few nanometers in diameter, Jaeger’s research studies their self-assembly into ultrathin membranes that function as nano-sieves with tunable pore size.

Selected Publications

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