Second Circular

diffusion-fundamentals Diffusion Fundamentals IV Conference
Second Circular

Diffusion Fundamentals IV

A Multidisciplinary Conference on the Fundamentals of Diffusion and its Applications
21 - 24 August, 2011
Troy, NY, U.S.A.

Following exciting conferences in Leipzig, Germany (2005, celebrating the anniversaries of Einstein's and Fick's landmark papers on diffusion), L'Aquila, Italy (2007), and Athens, Greece (2009), the Fourth Diffusion Fundamentals Conference will, for the first time, be held outside of Europe, as a testimony to its international outreach. The world-wide community of researchers in the field of diffusion is invited to the campus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, to discuss current developments in the fundamentals of diffusion, and its relevance to a wealth of applications.

Rapid progress in the field is due in part to its immediate significance to applications in separation, transport and catalytic processes (in medicine, sensors, energy, chemical and biotechnology, geology, and even information technology and social sciences), from the molecular to the inter-galactic scale. It is also due to radical advances in our ability to synthesize and observe nanostructured materials, with increased insights thanks to sophisticated molecular characterization methods, and theoretical and computational methodologies.

Diffusion Fundamentals IV will follow the tradition of its predecessors as a high-quality conference with outstanding invited oral, plenary presentations, and ample opportunity to view and discuss contributed posters that discuss the most recent progress. Both chairmen and plenary speakers are encouraged to refer extensively to the posters relevant for their session. Extended abstracts or full papers (see below) of conference contributions will be available electronically via the Diffusion Fundamentals Online Journal.

The scientific program will include sessions with lectures on the following seven themes:

  • Diffusion in the Brain, Physiology and Medicine
  • Theoretical Fundamentals of Confinement Effects on Diffusion
  • Diffusion in Nanomaterials: Synthesis, Characterization and Applications
  • Membrane Diffusion Fundamentals - Experiment and Theory
  • Insights in Diffusion Fundamentals by NMR
  • Transport in the Geosciences
  • Transport Phenomena in Nano-Biotechnology

As such, the talks will cover areas that include the theoretical description and experimental measurement of nano-confinement effects on diffusion; progress on the description of collective diffusion; transport through synthetic and biological membranes; diffusion and its impact in chemical engineering, neuroscience, biomedical engineering, geology, energy and environmental applications.

Invited Speakers
We are very pleased that Professor James Wei from Princeton University has accepted to present the Opening Lecture. Below is a current list of speakers who have already accepted our invitation:

  • Joseph Ackerman, Washington University in St. Louis (Biochemistry)
  • James Baish, Bucknell University (Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering)
  • Georges Belfort, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Chemical and Biological Engineering)
  • Bernhard Blümich, RWTH, Aachen (Macromolecular Chemistry)
  • Frank Cichos, University of Leipzig (Physics)
  • Jens Feder, University of Oslo (Physics of Geological Processes)
  • Thomas Franosch, TU Munich (Physics)
  • Sabina Hrabetova, SUNY Downstate (Cell Biology)
  • John Kasianowicz, NIST, Gaithersburg (Biophysics)
  • Pierre Levitz, Ecole Polytechnique, Paris (Physics)
  • Don MacElroy, University College Dublin (Chemical Engineering)
  • Peter Monson, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (Chemical Engineering)
  • Murugappan Muthukumar, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (Polymer Science and Engineering)
  • Peter Pfeifer, University of Missouri (Physics)
  • Joel Plawsky, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Chemical and Biological Engineering)
  • Muhammad Sahimi, University of Southern California (Chemical Engineering)
  • Yunfeng Shi, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Materials Science and Engineering)
  • Tom Truskett, University of Texas at Austin (Chemical Engineering)
  • Theo Tsotsis, University of Southern California (Chemical Engineering)
  • Rustem Valiullin, University of Leipzig (Physics)
  • Sergey Vasenkov, University of Florida (Chemical Engineering)
  • Bruce Watson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Geosciences)
  • Andrew Zydney, Penn State University (Chemical Engineering)

Each group of plenary talks will be accompanied by poster sessions. Poster submissions are invited in any of the above areas, or other areas related to diffusion; for those submitting poster abstracts, please include the area you feel your poster best fits into. Correspondingly, the plenary speakers and the chairpersons of the sessions will be asked to serve as first reviewers of the poster submissions and will be encouraged to refer to individual posters during their presentations, whenever appropriate.

ExxonMobil, Praxair, Quantachrome Instruments, Air Products, Schlumberger-Doll Research, Fonds der Chemischen Industrie and Süd-Chemie are gratefully acknowledged for sponsorship. If your company is interested in sponsoring Diffusion Fundamentals, please contact M.-O. Coppens

As the oldest technological university in the United States (1824), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has a rich history. Its beautiful campus boasts both old and hypermodern architecture, such as the recently opened Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center. All presentations will be in the new Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies with comfortable seating and state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment.

August is a nice season to visit, with pleasant temperatures, and an opportunity to enjoy the many magnificent neighboring sites, such as the Adirondacks, Saratoga Springs, or the charming Berkshires, all less than one hour away. As such, New Yorkers have enjoyed coming "upstate" to this area for more than a century, where also a lot of the cultural life is centered especially in summer. Troy itself has beautiful 19th Century architecture, as a result of its industrial importance from the mid-nineteenth century on. Troy is also the famous Home of Uncle Sam!

Rensselaer is 15 minutes from Albany International Airport and 15 minutes from Albany-Rensselaer Amtrak Train Station, with direct and frequent connections to New York City's Penn Station on a beautiful train ride along the Hudson River. It is also about 2 1/2 driving distance from New York City (I-87) and 3 hours from Boston (I-90).

Fees, Payment and Registration
The participation fee for early registration (till May 31th, 2011) is US$450; for late registration (until August 1st, 2011) it is US$540. The reduced fee for students is US$200 (early registration) and US$250, respectively. For registration, please fill out the registration form, send it to, and wire the registration fee to the account mentioned on the form. We will send you a confirmation of your registration via Email after receiving your fee on our bank account.

The conference fee comprises an electronic copy of the conference proceedings, catering during the conference and the social program, including the welcome reception on Sunday, August 21st, the gala dinner and the excursion.

The price for accompanying persons is US$150, (US$200 for late registration), including participation to the welcome reception, gala dinner and the excursion.

Cancellations: If a cancellation request is received before July 1st, 2011, 75% of the amount paid will be refunded. No refund will be possible after July 1st, 2011. Please address all request for cancellations to M.-O. Coppens.

Most attendees will be housed in the Hilton Garden Inn Troy, close to campus, where a block of rooms has been reserved at a rate of $129+tax per night, including buffet breakfast. Please make reservations directly through the hotel. The opening reception on Sunday 21 August will be at the Hilton Garden Inn. Other hotels in the neighborhood are available, including the Best Western Franklin Square Inn in downtown Troy, a fine hotel, also close to campus (note that this is a 10-15 minute walk with a quite steep elevation change, not too difficult, but important to realize for those with walking difficulties). Note that no special arrangements have been made with the Franklin Square Inn or other hotels at this time.

Conference Volume
The conference book will be in electronic format, and include full paper contributions of plenary speakers and sessions' chairmen and the two-page poster abstracts.
The conference contributions will be published only electronically, as a special volume of the Online-Journal "Diffusion Fundamentals". This online publication will be comprised of the Conference Volume, as well as the full paper contributions by poster presenters (see below for details).

Authors are requested to send their two-pages abstracts via the Internet before May 15th, 2011. Accepted abstracts will appear in the conference book.
Please note that the deadline for last-minute poster contributions is August 1st. Last minute submissions will only be published in the special volume of the Online-Journal.
Please follow the format as given under since only if this format is followed may the contribution be included in the Conference Volume and/or the Online-Journal, and send your abstract to

Full Paper Contributions
Authors of contributions that were accepted as posters of the conference are invited to send full papers before August 1st. Please, follow the instructions given under and send your paper to The publication in the special issue of the Online-Journal "Diffusion Fundamentals" depends on the positive response of the referees.

Important Dates

May 15th, 2011Deadline for submission of poster abstracts for the conference volume
May 31st Registration deadline (early registration fee);
Information about acceptance of poster contributions communicated by organizers
August 1stDeadline for registration with late dues;
deadline for full paper contributions of poster presenters;
deadline for last-minute poster contributions
August 21st - 24thDiffusion Fundamentals IV

Conference Chairmen:
Marc-Olivier Coppens, Rensselaer; Alex Neimark, Rutgers; Douglas Ruthven, University of Maine; Matthias Thommes, Quantachrome Instruments

Scientific Committee:
Dezsö L. Beke, DebrecenStefano Brandani, EdinburghArmin Bunde, Giessen
Paul Callaghan, New ZealandAlan Chadwick, Canterbury Christian Chmelik, Leipzig
Marc-Olivier Coppens, Troy Mladen Eic, Fredericton Gerhard Ertl, Berlin
Dieter Freude, Leipzig Farida Grinberg, Jülich Paul Heitjans, Hannover
Jörg Kärger, Leipzig Yossi Klafter, Tel Aviv Klaus Kroy, Leipzig
Alfred Leipertz, Erlangen-Nuremberg Andreas Mandelis, Toronto Graeme Murch, Callaghan
Jean Philibert, Paris William S. Price, Sydney Douglas M. Ruthven, Orono
Michael J. Saxton, Davis Gunter Schütz, Jülich Doros Theodorou, Athens
Rustem Valiullin, Leipzig Ilpo Vattulainen, Helsinki Gero Vogl, Vienna
George H. Weiss, Bethesda

Organization Rensselaer: Marc-Olivier Coppens

Electronic Support (abstracts, papers): Tomas Binder


- pre-announcement of the conference (pdf, 1 MB)
- Conference Programme (pdf, 0.1 MB)

admin: Tomas Binder