Are you interested in nanoparticle suspensions? Are you experienced in physical-chemical characterization techniques? Do you have an MSc degree in physical chemistry, soft matter science, physics, chemical engineering or similar? We are looking for a PhD candidate that will work on capillary nanoparticle suspensions.
We are looking for a PhD candidate with a great interest in understanding and controlling the interactions in nanoparticle suspensions. Nanoparticles are used as additives to modify and control the properties of numerous consumer products and materials. To obtain the desired functionality and to avoid harmful side effects it is crucial to understand the interactions of nanoparticles in complex environments and to be able to predict how these microscopic interactions influence the macroscopic behaviour. In this project, suspensions of nanoparticles in binary liquids will be studied, where local phase separation can lead to capillary bridges between the particles. The aim is to understand how these capillary interactions modify the structure of the suspension and its rheological properties, and to find ways to control this. This should ultimately lead to stimuli-responsive nanoparticle-based suspensions that can be used in applications in food and personal care products.
The research project is part of a larger European network of international partners in the context of the EC-funded Horizon 2020 "Marie Curie" International Training Network (ITN) NANOPAINT (Nanopaint-itn.eu). NANOPAINT aims to obtain a comprehensive understanding of nanoparticle suspensions, both in liquid bulk and at interfaces, and to use this knowledge to design functional smart liquids and solid nanomaterials. It combines experimental and modelling approaches and involves partners both from academia and from industry.
What will you be doing?
This project focuses on capillary interactions between nanoparticles as a means to control the structure and rheological properties of nanoparticle suspensions. Rheological experiments will be combined with an investigation of the microstructure using confocal microscopy or scattering methods. The experimental results will also be compared to numerical modelling, done within the project or with partners in the consortium.
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