The goal of the project Responsive Surface Assemblies is to obtain a deep understanding of interfacial multilayer films in terms of their structure, interaction, reorganisation, and response to changes in environmental conditions (pH, ionic strength, sur factant addition). The means to reach the goal is provided by a range of surface chemical techniques such as surface force balances, atomic force microscope, scattering techniques and techniques for adsorption studies. Most of the required techniques are a vailable at the host institution. The project takes advantage of several international collaborators that will provide additional techniques, nanoparticles and novel polyions. The focus is on two research areas. The first one is concerned with the effect o f polymeric and surface active additives on mucin coatings. In particular the formation of protective polymeric layers on mucin-coated surfaces is to be investigated. This has relevance for harmaceutical and oral care applications. The second research area is concerned with multilayer build-up of polyelectrolyte-nanoparticle composites. The traditional layer-by-layer process will be utilised as well as novel approaches utilising in-situ formation of nanoparticles next to polyions. Particular emphasis will be given to direct measurements of the interactions involved in the build-up process, a topic that despite its importance has not been thoroughly investigated. The research is relevant in the general area of structured materials and nano-composites.
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