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Organogels as electrorheological fluids


Research objectives and content
We propose to investigate both experimentally and theoretically the electrically-induced structural | changes and the electrorheological behavior of mixtures of phospholipids in apolar solvents with trace | amounts of water, which form organo-gels consisting of giant wormlike micelles with high viscosity. In | contrast to what is commonly observed, this viscosity disappears upon the application of moderate | electric fields. This remarkable property is very interesting for technical application as an electro- | rheological (ER) fluid.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
The combined information on structure and rheological behavior under the influence of electric fields | should yield a better understanding of the mechanism of the ER effect in organogels formed by I phospholipid solutions. This, in turn, should lead to formulations of nonconducting, self-assembling | organogels as ER fluids as well as to alternative formulations of the ER phenomena.
Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
Organogels are widely used in bio-technology and pharmacology for the solubilization of drugs and enzymes, cells and cell particles, flow control in food processing, cosmetics, inkjet printing and biomedicine. On the other side, it is usually believed that applications of ER fluids in transport industry could result in large saving of fuel consumption.

Funding Scheme

RGI - Research grants (individual fellowships)


55,Einsteinweg 55 Gorlaeus Laboratoria
2300 RA Leiden