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Development of the quartz crystal microbalance - qcm - for real-time monitoring of milk protein fouling at metal surfaces


Research objectives and content The quartz crystal microbalance consists of a thin quartz crystal on either side of which is a metal coating to act as an electrode. The crystal is set oscillating at its natural, resonant frequency by an applied potential difference. The frequency of oscillation is extremely sensitive to any matter which adsorbs and becomes immobilised on electrode surface. The resultant frequency shifts, Df, can be measured to a high degree of accuracy. The first objective is to monitor the adsorption (bio-fouling) of metal surfaces by milk proteins of commercial interest. Then, we will examine pH, time and temperature dependance and the effect of selected model surfactants towards the adsorbed protein layers. Finally we will try to obtain fundamental information of the state of the adsorption layers (conformation and thickness of the adsorbed layer). Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact) I believe it could be helpful if I would add to my physical chemistry training (mainly made up of electrochemistry and microcalorimetry) some knowledge of emulsions and surface phenomena which are important in food and dairy industries (you will find enclosed a letter by the french society << Alliance Agro Alimentaire >> which supports my project). Links with industry / industrial relevance (22) The Group at Leeds has an number of links with large companies, e.g. Unilever,Unigate.

Funding Scheme

RGI - Research grants (individual fellowships)


Woodhouse Lane
United Kingdom