ESR Individual Research Projects

Each reserach project corresponds to a PhD position for an early stage researcher (ESR).

ESR1Colloidal interactions between nanoparticles and rheology of dense nanosuspensions
Main supervisor: Prof. Victor Starov, Loughborough University, UK
Develop a theoretical model for nanoparticles dynamics taking into account colloidal interactions, perform computer simulations of cluster formation in nanofluids, validate them in experiments and a develop a model for rheology of dense nanosuspensions
Expected Results:
– a theoretical model for dynamics of nanoparticles in bulk and at interfaces;
– a theoretical model for bulk and surface rheology of nanosuspensions;
– experimental results on formation of clusters;
– computer simulations of clustering in nano-fluids and rheology;
– rheology model validation by comparison with the experimental data
ESR2Bulk and surface rheology of nanosuspensions under strong mechanical perturbation
Main supervisor: Prof. Ramon G. Rubio, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
To develop a novel method and instrument for investigation of the bulk and surface rheology of suspensions in non-equilibrium state, characterized by strong mechanical perturbations. To determine the interaction potential between nanoparticles of different sizes and charge densities using a light scattering technique.
Expected Results:
– experimental data on particles interactions;
– an experimental setup for rheological measurements of interfaces under vibrations;
– a theoretical dispersion equation needed for interpretation of the results of measurements;
– experimental data for bulk and surface rheological properties of complex multiphase liquids;
– interaction potentials between nanoparticles to be used in model of ESR1
ESR3Adhesion of nanoparticles clusters on a solid substrate
Main supervisor: Dr. Frank Menzel, Evonik Operations GmbH, AT Special Oxides, Germany
To investigate the influence of mechanical forces, generated by shear stresses induced by a high-speed air flow, on removal of the nanostructures from the surface, to measure the adhesion forces on a solid substrate.
Expected Results:
– theoretical model for prediction of the wear resistance of nanoparticle coatings; – experimental data for a critical air velocity gradient, associated with the removal of a particle cluster or its breakup;
– data for the shear adhesion force on a solid substrate
ESR4Modelling interfacial flows of dense nanosuspensions
Main supervisors: Prof. Alexander Oron,Prof. Alexander Nepomnyashchy, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Israel
To develop a theoretical model and perform simulations of interfacial flow of dense nanosuspensions taking into account the dynamics of nanoparticles under mechanical stresses. To apply this model to the flow in the apparatus for measurement of rheology, to the wetting/dewetting flows and to elongation of liquid bridges.
Expected Results:
– Long-wave model for dense nanosuspension film flow and filament flow;
– simulations of the flow in vibrating thin films corresponding to the physical system in the setup for rheology measurement developed by ESR2;
– simulation of the flow of vibrating sessile drop studied experimentally by ESR6;
– simulation of nanosuspension drop spreading with surfactants studied by ESR7;
– simulation of liquid bridge elongation studied experimentally by ESR5
ESR5Elongation and breakup of nanosuspension liquid bridges under fast stretching conditions
Main supervisor: Prof. Ilia Roisman, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany

To understand the behaviour of concentrated nanosuspensions and capillary nanosuspensions at the conditions of fast stretching.
Expected Results:
– Experimental results on the evolution of liquid bridge shape for concentrated suspensions and capillary nanosuspensions as a function of stretching rate;
– the apparent rheological properties from the liquid bridge stretching experiment and comparison with the measurement results in WP1 and WP3;
– results on the time instance and dynamics of liquid bridge breakup for concentrated nanosuspensions and capillary nanosuspensions;
– experimental results on dynamics of dewetting
ESR6Wetting-dewetting flow in vibrating sessile drop and nanoparticle self-assembly
Main supervisor: Prof. Miguel A. Cabrerizo-Vilchez, University of Granada, Spain
To investigate the dynamics of drop vibration on a solid substrate, especially the wetting-dewetting behaviour, and to characterize
the self-assembly of solid particles on interfaces and contact lines.
Expected Results:
– An experimental setup for investigation of vibrating drop of nanosuspensions;
– experimental data for the drop shape and wetting dynamics at substrates of different wettabilities;
– experimental data for particle self-assembly at liquid-solid interface and at
contact line.
ESR7Deposition of nanoparticles during spreading and evaporation of nanofluid drops in the presence of superspreading and non-superspreading trisiloxane surfactants on hydrophobic substrates
Main supervisors: Dr. Joachim Venzmer, Evonik Operations GmbH, Germany
Prof. Tatiana Gambaryan-Roisman, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany
To understand the superspreading mechanism by studying drop spreading, evaporation and deposition of nanoparticles. To control the nanoparticles deposition and pattern formation using superspreaders and other surfactants and examining the effect of environmental conditions (temperature and humidity)
Expected Results:
– Experimental data on drop spreading dynamics under action of superspreaders and other surfactants as a comparison (at the premises of EVO, Essen);
– Parameter studies of assembling of nanoparticles and pattern formation in the presence of superspreaders and other surfactants and under controlled environmental conditions (at TUDA);
– Interpretation of experimental results on the basis of model developed by ESR4.
ESR8Fundamentals of rheology of capillary nanosuspensions: Effect of surfactants
Main supervisors: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vesselin Petrov, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, Bulgaria
Prof. Dr. Roumen Tsekov, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, Bulgaria
The goal of the thesis will be to investigate the effect of surfactants on the rheological properties of capillary nanosuspensions such as yield stress, viscosity, storage and loss moduli, G‘ and G“. The surfactants can influence the nanosuspension rheology (at least) in three ways: (i) by lowering the interfacial tension; (ii) by increasing the elasticity of the oil/water interface, and (iii) by affecting the three-phase contact angle particle/ water/ oil. These effects will be investigated experimentally and interpreted theoretically by development of a model and computational procedure.
Expected Results:
– The effect of water- and oil-soluble surfactants on the rheology of capillary nanosuspensions with aqueous and oily capillary bridges will be investigated at surfactant concentrations below and above the critical micellization concentration;
– For the used systems, the oil/water interfacial tension and dilatational elasticity, as well as the three-phase contact angle will be determined by means of appropriate experimental methods;
– Theoretical model and computational procedure for analysis of the state of capillary nanosuspension and its rheology will be developed; the quantitative interpretation of the experimental data will allow prediction and control of the nanosuspension rheology.
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ESR9Capillary nanosuspensions for fabrication of smart porous materials
Main supervisor: Prof. Erin Koos, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
To understand the influence of combination of particles of different sizes and wettabilities as well as the properties of the liquid phases on the network structure and rheology of capillary nanosuspensions. To fabricate and characterize porous bodies from capillary suspensions containing particles of at least two different wettabilities and nanoparticles.
Expected Results:
– Results of confocal microscopy using fluorescent dies on the particles distribution in networks of capillary nanosuspensions, whereas the particle size distribution is controlled, and particles of different surface properties are used;
– results on rheological measurements of capillary nanosuspensions;
– results on characterization of porous materials fabricated from capillary
ESR10Novel smart materials employing reactive and stimuli-responsive capillary nanosuspensions
Main supervisors: Prof. Jasper van der Gucht, Prof. Simeon Stoyanov, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
To investigate the effects of the material properties of the continuous and disperse phases, as well effects of additives on the rheological properties of capillary nanosuspensions. To develop stimuli-responsive capillary nanosuspensions for applications in food and personal care formulations.
Expected Results:
– Experimental data for the rheological properties of capillary nanosuspensions of various formulations;
– experimental data on the influence of the processing and order of addition on the rheological properties;
– experimental data on influence of external stimuli (pH, temperature, salinity) on rheology
ESR11Modelling assembling of nanoparticles
Main supervisor: Prof. Tatiana Gambaryan-Roisman, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany
To develop and validate a theoretical/numerical model describing formation of nanoparticle assemblies and to apply this model to formation of supraparticles and to formation of conductive printed circuits
Expected Results:
– Theoretical model and computer code describing flow and assembly of nanoparticles on substrates on the basis of colloidal nanoparticle interaction and nanoparticles dynamics model (WP1), interfacial flows model (WP2) and taking into account solvent evaporation;
– simulation of self-assembly of particles during coalescence and evaporation of two nanosuspension drops on a superoleophobic substrate (MPIP);
– simulation of formation of assemblies by evaporation of printed conductive inks/pastes (ICSC).
ESR12Formation of porous supraparticles by evaporation of two coalescing drops on a superamphiphobic substrate
Main supervisor: Prof. Hans-Jürgen Butt, Max Planck Group, Institute for Polymer Research, Germany
Understand the process of coalescence of two drops of aqueous nanosuspension on superamphiphobic surfaces. The drops can have different sizes and contain nanoparticles of different composition, size or shape. Based on fundamental understanding of interaction of the nanoparticles, form complex supraparticles, including Janus or core-shell supraparticles.
Expected Results:
– Video visualizations of coalescence and evaporation of two drops collected by imaging drop shapes and monitoring the local dynamics near the contact line using high speed cameras and confocal microscopy;
– Formation of supraparticles of complex porous structure (containing substructures on the length scale larger than a nanoparticle but smaller than the drop diameter) by controlling the (different) charges of nanoparticles and pH in drops;
– Characterization of the porous structure of nanoparticles by SEM
and mechanical stability by a nanoindentor; measuring adhesion of individual supraparticles on substrates; test the functions of supraparticles, e.g. catalytic activity.
ESR13Development of conductive inks and of conductive printed patterns on its basis
Main supervisor: Prof. Piotr Warszyński, Instytut Katalizy I Fizykochemii Powierzchni im. J Habera PAN, Poland
To synthesize core@shell bimetallic non-oxidizable nanoparticles, to formulate inks with high stability against aggregation process and to design a process for fabrication of printed circuits and devices with high electrical conductivity
Expected Results:
– Developed and optimized process based on galvanic displacement reaction for synthesis of conductive, non-oxidizable core@shall (Ni@Au, Sn@Ag, Sn@Au) nanoparticles;
– developed and optimized ink formulation based on the knowledge of particles
– optimized printing technology (in cooperation with HUJI and Photocentric);
– developed and optimized low-temperature chemical sintering technology;
– results on the characterization of printed circuits (electrical conductivity, stability in air).
ESR14Development of solid foams with tailored structured and functional properties
Main supervisor: Dr. Libero Liggieri, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Italy
To develop solid foams with tailored structural and functional properties from particle-stabilised liquid foams, in particular based on multicomponent Nanoparticle (NP) dispersions. To incorporate smart functionalities in these solid foams. To investigate the relations between interfacial and bulk properties of the precursor NP dispersions and the features of the solid foams, such as morphology, porosity, mechanical properties and functionality. To optimise the processing steps of solid foams towards greener production methods (e.g. lower
processing temperatures).
Expected Results:
– Development and characterization of dispersions, protocols for processing of solid foams with enhanced functionalities;
– Solid foams with smart functionalities, such as graduated porosities and wettability, stimuli responsive features.
– Increase of the general knowledge on interfacial properties of NP-surfactant dispersions, in particular as related to multicomponent systems. Specific NPs
formulations will be agreed with other members of the consortium (KU Leuven, MPIP, HUJI, Photocentric) to compare the features of the obtained porous materials
ESR15Development and optimization of inks and 3D printing process of functional nanomaterials and parts
Main supervisors: Prof. Shlomo Magdassi, Dr. Alexander Kamyshny, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
To develop ink formulations and 3D printing route for fabrication of functional nanomaterials with tailored combination of properties and smart nanomaterials
Expected Results:
– developed and optimized functional nanoparticles, e.g. nano-photoinitiators;
– developed ink formulations for 3D printing process on the basis of understanding the nanoparticles interactions and rheology of inks (WP1);
– optimized of the 3D printing process for ceramic objects based on ceramic nanoparticles and of stimuli-responsive hydrogels with nano-photoinitiators;
– characterized printed parts