OPTMANDROPSProject reference: 302798
Funded under :
Optical manipulation of droplets and interfaces in colloid-polymer mixtures
Total cost:EUR 200 371,8
EU contribution:EUR 200 371,8
Coordinated in:United Kingdom
Topic(s):FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IEF - Marie-Curie Action: "Intra-European fellowships for career development"
Call for proposal:FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IEFSee other projects for this call
Funding scheme:MC-IEF - Intra-European Fellowships (IEF)
"With the rising application of microfluidics in a wide variety of fields, full control over fluid interfacial properties, especially at small length scales, is becoming increasingly important. Therefore, a deep understanding of the interfacial dynamics is needed, not only in isotropic fluids with Newtonian flow properties, but also in anisotropic systems and in fluids that exhibit non-Newtonian behavior. Colloidal suspensions have proven an ideal model system for complex fluids, as due to their high tunability and the relatively slow interfacial dynamics they allow study of interfacial phenomena in great detail.
We propose to study the interfacial and droplet dynamics in colloid-polymer mixtures using optical trapping techniques. Preliminary experiments have shown that it is possible to manipulate the colloidal liquid-gas interface in a phase separated colloid-polymer mixture with optical tweezers. We aim to systematically study the interfacial dynamics by distorting the interface in a controlled way. Both the static structure and dynamic relaxation behavior will be analyzed using optical microscopy. We furthermore envisage to use optical tweezing to coalesce and break droplets of colloidal liquid. This will shine detailed light on the forces at play, which will yield valuable and quantitative insight in these complex and rich hydrodynamic processes. We will extend our experiments to study the interfacial and droplet phenomena in suspensions of anisometric colloids and polymers, which exhibit isotropic-nematic phase coexistence. The anisotropic nature of the isotropic-nematic interface and the nematic phase itself will strongly influence the interfacial dynamics as well as droplet coalescence and breakup. We expect that combining advanced optical trapping techniques with highly concentrated colloidal liquid crystalline suspensions will lead to a host of new and exciting phenomena."
EU contribution: EUR 200 371,8
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