Alois Würger is a member of Condensed Matter Theory Team, Statistical Physics Group.


Soft matter physics   –   Theory team


Self-propelling Janus particlesJanus particles

Active particles in bulk solution move due to surface forces induced by self-generated concentration or temperature gradients. We study self-propulsion mechanisms of charged systems, and in particular specific-ion effects.

Marangoni surfers3D Plot Trapped particle

Active particles trapped at a liquid interface self-generate a temperature or concentration field. They thus locally reduce the interface tension and give rise to a Marangoni stress which results in long-range flow-fields.

ThermophoresisThermophoretic trap trajectory

Colloidal particles and DNA in a non-uniform temperature migrate to the hot or to the cold, depending on the surface and electrolyte properties. Underlying mechanisms are thermo-osmosis, molecular diffusion, and electro-osmosis.  Force-free trapping of nano-particles is achieved through dynamic temperature gradients in laser heated gold microstructures.

Electrolyte Seebeck effect
Hot particle

Ion-specific thermal diffusion in a salt solution results in an thermoelectric field which often dominates thermophoresis and photophoresis. A heated particle carries a thermocharge which results in an unscreened thermoelectric field.

Hydrodynamic boundary effects

Moving particles or macromolecules in confined geometries interact with solid boundaries through their flow field.  We study wall-induced hydrodynamic interactions and the resulting slowing-down of colloidal motion.


ANR240           Logo du CNRS





– Mécanique statistique (Master de Physique Recherche) Notes de Cours

– Physique des matériaux (Master de Physique Pro)

– Probas et Stats (Licence EEA)



1987     MSc (Dipl. Phys.) Univ. Erlangen, Germany
1989     PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) Univ. Erlangen, Germany
1995     Habilitation (venia legendi) Univ. Heidelberg, Germany


1987-89        PhD student, Institut Laue-Langevin, Grenoble
1988-89        Scolarship Carl-Duisberg-Stiftung, Leverkusen, Germany
1989-90        Postdoc, Institut Laue-Langevin, Grenoble
1990-95        Assistant Professor, Univ. Heidelberg
1993              Visiting Professor Univ. Rennes (Sept-Oct)
1995-98        Research Associate, Institut Laue-Langevin, Grenoble
1998-             Professor, Université de Bordeaux
2013              Leibniz-Professor Univ. Leipzig (April-August)


Review articles

Thermal diffusion in binary mixtures
Alois Würger, in: Advances in Transport Properties of Fluids, Royal Society of Chemistry (2014)

Thermal non-equilibrium transport in colloids
A. Würger, Rep. Prog. Phys. 73 126601 (2010)

Cross-over to Phonon-assisted Tunneling in Insulators and Metals
Alois Würger in: Tunneling Systems in Amorphous and Crystalline Solids, Springer (1998)

From Coherent Tunneling to Relaxation
Alois Würger: Springer Tracts in Modern Physics, Springer (1997)

Recent papers  (author pdf on Hal)

Nanoscale Seebeck effect at hot metal nanostructures
Aboubakry Ly, Arghya Majee, Alois Würger, New J. Phys. (2018)

Hydrodynamic interactions in DNA thermophoresis
Aboubakry Ly, Alois Würger, Soft Matter (2018)

Janus Colloids Actively Rotating on the Surface of Water
Xiaolu Wang, Martin In, Christophe Blanc, Alois Würger, Maurizio Nobili, Antonio Stocco, Langmuir 33, 13766 (2017)

Hydrodynamics Defines the Stable Swimming Direction of Spherical Squirmers in a Nematic Liquid Crystal
Juho S. Lintuvuori, Alois Würger, Kevin Stratford, Phys. Rev. Lett.  119, 068001 (2017)

Playing with Emulsion Formulation to Control the Perforation of a Freely Expanding Liquid Sheet
Clara Vernay, Laurence Ramos, Alois Würger, Christian Ligoure, Langmuir 33, 3458 (2017)

Viscoelastic Drag Forces and Crossover from No-Slip to Slip Boundary Conditions for Flow near Air-Water Interfaces
A. Maali, R. Boisgard, H. Chraibi, Z. Zhang, H. Kellay, A. Würger, Phys. Rev. Lett. 118, 084501 (2017)

Thermo-osmotic flow in thin films
A.P. Bregulla, A. Würger, K. Günther, M. Mertig, F. Cichos, Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 188303 (2016)

Hydrodynamic boundary effects on thermophoresis of confined colloids
Alois Würger, Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 138302 (2016)

Motion of optically heated spheres at the water-air interface
A. Girot, N. Danné, A. Würger, T. Bickel, F. Ren, J.C. Loudet, B. Pouligny, Langmuir 32, 2687 (2016)

Self-diffusiophoresis of Janus particles in near-critical mixtures
Alois Würger, Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 188304 (2015)

Comment on ‘‘Curvature capillary migration of microspheres’’
Alois Würger, Soft Matter 12, 331 (2015)

Do the thermal diffusion and Dufour coefficients satisfy Onsager’s reciprocity relations?
Alois Würger, Eur. Phys. J. E 37, 96 (2014)

Thermally driven Marangoni Surfers
Alois Würger, J. Fluid Mech. 752, 589 (2014)

Trapping of Single Nano-Objects in Dynamic Temperature Fields
Marco Braun, Alois Würger, Frank Cichos, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 16, 15207 (2014)

Polarization of active Janus particles
Thomas Bickel, Guillermo Zecua, Alois Würger, Phys. Rev. E 89, 050303(R) (2014)

Thermal diffusion in binary mixtures: the role of irreversibility
Alois Würger, J. Phys. Cond. Matt. 26, 035105 (2014)

Specific-salt effects on thermophoresis of charged colloids
K.A. Eslahian, A. Majee, M. Maskos, A. Würger, Soft Matter 10, 1931(2014)

Flow pattern in the vicinity of self-propelling hot Janus particles
Th. Bickel, A. Majee, A. Würger, Phys. Rev. E 88, 02301 (2013)

Thermoelectric properties of a hot liquid spot
Arghya Majee, Alois Würger, Soft Matter 9, 2145 (2013)

Is Soret equilibrium a non-equilibrium effect?
Alois Würger, Comptes Rendus Mécanique 341, 438 (2013)

Trapping energy of a spherical particle on a curved liquid interface
Joseph Léandri, Alois Würger, J. Colloid Interf. Sci 405, 249 (2013)

Anisotropic diffusion of colloidal particles in a liquid crystal
F. Mondiot, J.-C. Loudet, O. Mondain-Monval, P. Snabre, A. Vilquin, A. Würger, Phys. Rev. E86, 010401(R) (2012)

Charging of hot colloidal particles
A. Majee, A. Würger, Phys. Rev. Lett. 108 118301 (2012)

Leidenfrost gas ratchets driven by thermal creep
A. Würger, Phys. Rev. Lett. 107 164502 (2011)

Viscoelastic properties of confined molecular layers
A. Würger, J. Phys. : Condens. Matter 23 505103 (2011)

Thermal diffusion in binary liquids due to rectified molecular fluctuations
Simon Villain-Guillot, Alois Würger, Phys. Rev. E 83, 030501R (2011)

Collective thermo-electrophoresis in charged colloids
Arghya Majee, Alois Würger, Phys. Rev. E 83, 061403 (2011)

Soret motion in non-ionic binary molecular mixtures
Yves Leroyer, Alois Würger, J. Chem. Phys. 135, 054102 (2011)

Hydrodynamic attraction of immobile particles due to interfacial forces
Julien Morthomas, Alois Würger, Phys. Rev. E 81 051405 (2010)

Drift-diffusion kinetics of a confined colloid
Yves Leroyer, Alois Würger, J. Phys. Cond. Matt. 22, 195104 (2010)

Thermophoresis at a charged surface: the role of hydrodynamic slip
J. Morthomas, A. Würger, J. Phys. : Condens. Matter 21 035103 (2009)

Molecular-weight dependent thermal diffusion in dilute polymer solutions
Alois Würger, Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 078302 (2009)

Temperature dependence of the Soret motion in colloids
Alois Würger, Langmuir 25, 6696 (2009)

Transport in charged colloids driven by thermoelectricity
Alois Würger, Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 108302 (2008)

Thermophoresis of charged colloidal particles
Sébastien Fayolle, Thomas Bickel, Alois Würger, Phys. Rev. E 77, 041404 (2008)

Thermoelectric effect on charged colloids in the Hückel limit
Julien Morthomas, Alois Würger, Eur. Phys. J. E 27, 425 (2008)

Thermodiffusion of Charged Micelles
S. Fayolle, T. Bickel, S. Le Boiteux, A. Würger, Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 208301 (2005)

Capillary forces between macro-ions trapped at a liquid interface
L. Foret, A. Würger, Phys. Rev. Lett. 92, 058302 (2004)

A. Würger, L. Foret ; J. Phys. Chem. B 109, 16435 (2005)