This page contains a complete bibliography of Tim Atherton’s publications, including both those of the Soft Matter Theory Group at Tufts and those from his time in the Rosenblatt Group at Case Western Reserve University and in the Thin Film Photonics Group at the University of Exeter.


38. A. M. Mascioli, C. J. Burke and T. J. Atherton, “Percolation transition in the packing of bidispersed particles on curved surfaces”, (arXiv:1608.00671)

37. C. J. Burke and T. J. Atherton, “Jamming on curved surfaces”, (arXiv:1605.09478)

Published Papers


36. P. Dahiya, A. DeBenedictis, T.  J. Atherton, M. Caggioni, S. W. Prescott, R. W. Hartel, P. T. Spicer “Arrested coalescence of viscoelastic droplets: Triplet shape and restructuring”, Soft Matter, doi:10.1039/C6SM02830F (arXiv:1612.06497)

35. C. J. Burke and T. J. Atherton, “Developing a project-based computational physics course grounded in expert practice”, American Journal of Physics 85, 301 (arXiv:1604:06122)


34. C. Weigel, J. M. Wachter, P. Wagoner, T. J. Atherton “Predicting the Influence of Plate Geometry on the Eddy Current Pendulum”Am. J. Phys. 84, 653  (arXiv:1506.06401)

33. A. DeBenedictis and T. J. Atherton, “Shape minimisation problems in liquid crystals”, Liquid Crystals doi:10.1080/02678292.2016.1209699  (

32. C. J. Burke, J. Lesnefsky, R. G. Petschek and T. J. Atherton, “Maximizing the hyperpolarizability of 1D potentials with multiple electrons”, JOSA B, 33(12)  E1-E13  (arXiv:1602.05246)

31. T. J. Atherton, “Shape transitions in anisotropic multicomponent lipid tubules”, Front. Mat. doi:10.3389/fmats.2016.00026

30. T. J. Atherton, C. A. M. Butler, M. C. Taylor, I. R. Hooper, A. P. Hibbins, J. R. Sambles and H. Mathur “Topological Modes in One Dimensional Solids and Photonic Crystals”, Phys. Rev. B 93, 125106 (arXiv:1410.7740)


29. J. H. Adler, T. J. Atherton, T. R. Benson, D. B. Emerson and S. P. MacLachlan, “Energy minimization for liquid crystal equilibrium with electric and flexoelectric effects”, SIAM J. Sci. Comput., 37(5), S157–S176.

28. J. H. Adler, T. J. Atherton, D. B. Emerson, S. P. MacLachlan, “An Energy-Minimization Finite-Element Approach for the Frank-Oseen Model of Nematic Liquid Crystals: Continuum and Discrete Analysis”, SIAM J. Numer. Anal., 53(5), 2226–2254 (Extended technical report with additional proofs available at arXiV:1402.3310)

27. A. DeBenedictis, C. Anquetil-Deck, D. J. Cleaver, D. B. Emerson, M. Wolak, J. H. Adler, T. J. Atherton, “Competition of Lattice and Basis for Alignment of Nematic Liquid Crystals”, Phys. Rev. E 92, 042501 (arXiv:1507.00050) (see blog post)

26. D. Thomas, M. Cardarelli, A. Sánchez-Ferrer, B. L. Mbanga, T. J. Atherton, P. Cebe, “Thermal characterisation of thermotropic nematic liquid-crystalline elastomers”, Liquid Crystals, DOI: 10.1080/02678292.2015.1066888

25. C. J. Burke, B. L. Mbanga, Z. Wei, P. T. Spicer, T. J. Atherton, “The role of curvature anisotropy in the ordering of spheres on an ellipsoid”, Soft Matter, 11, 5872-5882  (arXiv:1504.03889)

24. J.S. Pendery, T. J. Atherton, M. Nobili, R. G. Petschek, E. Lacaze, C. Rosenblatt, “Liquid crystal quenched orientational disorder at an AFM-scribed alignment surface”, Soft Matter 11 2220-7


23. B. L. Mbanga, K. K. Voorhes, and T. J. Atherton, “Simulating defect textures on relaxing nematic shells”, Phys. Rev. E 89, 052504 (see blog post)

22. A. M. Hopkins, B. Wheeler, C. Staii, D. K. Kaplan, T. J. Atherton, “Semi-automatic quantification of neurite fasciculation in high-density neurite images by the neurite directional distribution analysis (NDDA).”, J. Neuroscience Methods 228, 100–109


21. D. J. Rizzo, J. D. White, E. Spedden, M. R. Wiens, D. L. Kaplan, T. J. Atherton, and C. Staii, “Neuronal growth as diffusion in an effective potential”, Phys. Rev. E 88, 042707 (see blog post)

20. C. Anquetil-Deck, D. J. Cleaver, J. P. Bramble, T. J. Atherton, “Towards independent control of polar and azimuthal anchoring”, Phys. Rev. E 88, 012501 (see blog post)

19. C. J. Burke, T. J. Atherton, J. Lesnefsky, and R. G. Petschek “Optimizing the second hyperpolarizability with minimally parametrized potentials”J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 30, 1438-45  (see blog post)

18. A. M. Hopkins, L. De Laporte, F. Tortelli, E. Spedden, C. Staii, T. J. Atherton, J. A. Hubbell, and D. L. Kaplan, “Silk Hydrogels as Soft Substrates for Neural Tissue Engineering”Adv. Funct. Mater. doi: 10.1002/adfm.201300435 (see blog post)


17. T. J. Atherton and J. H. Adler “Competition of Elasticity and Flexoelectricity for bistable alignment of nematics on patterned substrates”, Phys. Rev. E 86, 040701(R) (see blog post)

16. C. Anquetil-Deck, D.J. Cleaver and T. J. Atherton “Competing alignments of nematic liquid crystals on square patterned substrates”, Phys. Rev. E 86, 041707 (see blog post)

15. R. Beighley, E. M. Spedden, K. Sekeroglu, T. J. Atherton, M. C. Demeril and C. Staii “Neuronal alignment on asymmetric textured surfaces”, Appl. Phys. Lett., 101, p143701 (see blog post)

14. T. J. Atherton, J. Lesnefsky and R. Petschek “Maximizing Hyperpolarizability Poorly Determines the Potential”, JOSA B 29 513-520 (see blog post)


13. T.J. Atherton “Phase diagrams for a semi-infinite nematic in contact with a micropatterned surface”, Liq. Cryst., 37 1225-1228

12. M.C. Renoult, T. J. Atherton, C. Rosenblatt and P. Carles, “Creating non-planar static interfaces with magnetic fields”, AIP Conference Proceedings 1207


11. Y. Choi, T. J. Atherton, S. Ferjani, R. Petschek, C. Rosenblatt “Patterning-induced surface chirality and modulation of director twist in a nematic cell”, Phys. Rev. E 80 060701(R)

10. T.J. Atherton, J. R. Sambles, J.P. Bramble, J.R. Henderson, and S.D. Evans “Anomalous uniform domain in a twisted nematic cell constructed from micropatterned surfaces”, Liq. Cryst. 36, p353-358

9. J.-H. Lee, T. J. Atherton, R. G. Petschek, and C. Rosenblatt “Direct measurement of surface-induced orientational order parameter profile above the nematic–isotropic phase transition temperature”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 102 1-4


8. A. De Luca, V. Barna, T. J. Atherton, G. Carbone, M. Sousa, C. Rosenblatt “Optical nanotomography of anisotropic fluids”, Nat. Phys. 4, 869 – 872

7. J.-H. Lee, T. J. Atherton, D. Kang, R. Petschek, C. Rosenblatt “Polar-horizontal versus polar-vertical reverse-tilt-domain walls: Influence of a pretilt angle below the nematic-isotropic phase transition”, Phys. Rev. E 78 021708-7

6. T. J. Atherton, R. Wang, C. Rosenblatt “Diverging elasticity and director uniformation in a nanopatterned cell near the nematic–smectic-A phase transition”, Phys. Rev. E 77 061702-6


5. T. J. Atherton and J. R. Sambles “Numerical simulation of a twisted nematic cell constructed from micropatterned substrates”, Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 475 3-11

4. J. Bramble, S. Evans, J. Henderson, T. Atherton, N. Smith “Observations of focal conic domains in smectic liquid crystals aligned on patterned self-assembled monolayers”, Liq. Cryst. 34 1137-1143

3. Z. Huang, A. De Luca, T. J. Atherton, M. Bird, C. Rosenblatt, P. Carlès “Rayleigh-Taylor Instability Experiments with Precise and Arbitrary Control of the Initial Interface Shape”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 99 204502-4

2. R. Wang, T. J. Atherton, M. Zhu, R. Petschek, C. Rosenblatt “Naturally occurring reverse tilt domains in a high-pretilt alignment nematic liquid crystal” , Phys. Rev. E 76 021702-5                                                                                                                                


1. T. J. Atherton and J. R. Sambles “Orientational transition in a nematic liquid crystal at a patterned surface”, Phys. Rev. E 74 022701