Member of Condensed Matter Theory Group.




Charge-flow coupling in confined geometries

In collaboration with the experimental Soft matter group of LOMA, we study how the motion of a charged colloidal sphere close to a solid surface is affected by electrokinetic phenomena and charge advection.

Ionic thermoelectric materials

Ionic liquids and gels, and ions in polyelectrolyte matrices show very large Seebeck coefficients S of tens of mV/K, corresponding to a Peltier heat of transport Q of several hundreds of kBT. These numbers exceed by far those observed for salt solutions, solid-state semiconductors and metals, where S ~ kB/e = 85 μV/K and Q ~ kBT. We study possible mechanisms for these large values, in particular the hopping dynamics of the charge carriers, and companion fields of the applied temperature gradient,  such as concentration gradients of mobile moleculare components.

Self-propelling Janus particles

Active Janus particles move due to surface forces induced by self-generated concentration or temperature gradients. We study  various self-propulsion mechanisms in aqueous solution and in near-critical binary mixtures. For active nanoparticles trapped  in a harmonic tweezer potential, we find a non-equilibrium probabilty density which is characteristic for balistic motion through the trap.

Marangoni surfers

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.


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.




Thermoelectric effects at the nanoscale 2014-18 (Coordinator)
Electrodynamical diffuse layers 2019-2024 (Coordinator)



High-temperature thermophoresis 2018-23 (Partner)






– Statistical physics I (Master de Physique Recherche) Lecture notes

– Physique des matériaux (Master de Physique Pro) Notes de cours

– 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        Scholarship 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

Unconventional Thermoelectric Materials for Energy Harvesting and Sensing Applications
Matteo Massetti, Fei Jiao, Andrew J. Ferguson, Dan Zhao, Kosala Wijeratne, Alois Würger, Jeffrey L. Blackburn,  Xavier Crispin, Simone Fabiano
Chemical Reviews 121, 12465–12547 (2021)

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
Alois 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)

The Origin of Thermal Gradient-Induced Voltage in Polyelectrolytes
Ayesha Sultana, Alois Würger, Ziyauddin Khan, Mingna Liao, Magnus P. Jonsson, Reverant Crispin, and Dan Zhao
Small, 2309827 (2023)

Electric Fields in Liquid Water Irradiated with Protons at Ultrahigh Dose Rates
F. Gobet, P. Barberet, M.-H. Delville, G. Devès, T. Guérin, R. Liénard, H. N. Tran, C. Vecco-Garda, A. Würger, S. Zein, and H. Seznec
Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 178001 (2023)

Ionic Thermoelectric Ratchet Effect in Non-Aqueous Polymeric Electrolytes
Ayesha Sultana, Alois Würger, Jaywant Phopase, Xavier Crispin, Dan Zhao
J. Mater. Chem. C 10, 13922 (2022)

Electroviscous drag on squeezing motion in sphere-plane geometry
M. Rodriguez Matus, Z. Zhang , Z. Benrahla , A. Majee, A. Maali, A. Würger
Phys. Rev. E 105, 064606 (2022)

Reorientation dynamics of microswimmers at fluid-fluid interfaces
Harinadha Gidituri, Zaiyi Shen, Alois Würger, Juho Lintuvuori
Phys. Rev. Fluids. 7, L042001 (2022)

Microscale Thermophoresis in Liquids Induced by Plasmonic Heating and Characterized by Phase and Fluorescence Microscopies
Sadman Shakib, Benoit Rogez, Samira Khadir, Julien Polleux, Alois Würger, and Guillaume Baffou
J. Phys. Chem. C 125, 21533 (2021)

Near-field probe of thermal fluctuations of a hemispherical bubble surface
Z. Zhang, Y. Wang, Y. Amarouchene, R. Boisgard, H. Kellay, A. Würger, A. Maali
Phys. Rev. Lett. 126, 174503 (2021)

Ionic thermoelectric materials and devices
Dan Zhao, Alois Würger, Xavier Crispin
Journal of Energy Chemistry 61, 88 (2021)

Dynamics of a spherical colloid at a liquid interface: A lattice Boltzmann study
Harinadha Gidituri, Alois Würger, Kevin Stratford, Juho S. Lintuvuori
Phys. Fluids  33, 052110 (2021)

Non-equilibrium properties of an active nanoparticle in a harmonic potential
Falko Schmidt, Hana Šípová-Jungová, Mikael Käll, Alois Würger, Giovanni Volpe
Nature Communications 12, 1902 (2021)

Thermoelectric ratchet effect of charge carriers with hopping dynamics
Alois Würger
Phys.  Rev. Lett. 126, 068001 (2021)

Motion and trapping of micro-sized particles on the air–paramagnetic-liquid interface
Zoran Cenev, Alois Würger,  Quan Zhou
Phys. Rev. E 103, L010601 (2021)

Laser-heated microswimmers: optical manipulation of active particles
Alois Würger
Proc. SPIE 11522, OMC 2020

Thermopower of ionic conductors and ionic capacitors
Alois Würger, Physical Review Research 2, 042030(R) (2020)

Hydrodynamic self-assembly of active colloids: chiral spinners and dynamic crystals
Zaiyi Shen, Alois  Würger, Juho S. Lintuvuori, Soft Matter  15, 1508 (2019)

Hydrodynamic interactions of a self-propelling particle with a wall
Zaiyi Shen, Alois  Würger, Juho S. Lintuvuori, Eur. Phys. J. E  41, 39 (2018)

Nanoscale Seebeck effect at hot metal nanostructures
Aboubakry Ly, Arghya Majee, Alois Würger, New J. Phys. 20, 025001 (2018)

Hydrodynamic interactions in DNA thermophoresis
Aboubakry Ly, Alois Würger, Soft Matter 14, 848 (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)

Comment on ‘‘Curvature capillary migration of microspheres’’
Alois Würger, Soft Matter 12, 331 (2016)

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