Dispersed SystemsWe have a high level of knowledge in emulsions and foams. Research on the subfields of liquid-liquid and liquid-air dispersions, including emulsions and foams, is reasonably mature with much knowledge disseminated to industry.
One current research focus is in the field of particle stabilized foams and emulsions. The field of nanoparticle dispersion and interfacial interactions is ascending, both in terms of research and applications in dispersions in liquids and in solid composites.
The research on nanoparticle dispersions is aimed at understanding particle and nanoparticle interfaces in relation to stability of concentrated nanoparticle dispersions, particularly for understanding how irreversible aggregation of nanoparticles can be avoided during generation, storage and use of these particles in dispersed systems. Further, making composites with a high degree of dispersion of nanoparticles is hampered by the inability to accurately assess degree and quality of dispersion in solid composites.
Continued research in foams and emulsions is pursued through focus on new methods for interfacial film characterization, such as interfacial shear rheometry and foam and emulsion droplet physical characterization using advanced methods such as Confocal Raman Microscopy and light and x-ray scattering. Also methods and techniques are developed and used for understanding and manipulating surface chemical character of particles used in stabilization of the interfaces. Likewise, research on nanoparticle dispersions in liquids and solids also requires research on the surface chemistry of nanoparticles to be dispersed in liquids and solids.
Development of methods and techniques for synthesis of nanoparticles is also a focus of the approach to stabilized, non-agglomerating nanoparticle dispersions, concentrates and powders. An important approach here is research on nanoparticle surface chemistry and nanoprticle interactions, with a focus on dispersants and surface modification. Finally, assessment of nanoparticle dispersions in liquids and solids as a function of surface chemical character requires development of novel methods and techniques for assessing degree of dispersion, such as light scattering, electrophoretic mobility, acoustic spectroscopy and confocal microscopy.