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Interdisciplinary Research Centre


I am interested in flow of complex fluids in bulk and mesoscopic confinement. In particular, I am studying the underlying self-assembled structure of surfactant and polymer solutions as they are sheared using bulk rheology combined with synchrotron radiation (Small Angle X-ray Scattering).

Recently we build up an optical-tweezers setup as micro-heometer. This method uses a colloidal bead as probe. Monitoring the thermal fluctuations of this bead in time allows us to extract the equilibrium properties of a viscoelastic system, such as the storage (G') and loss (G'') modulus. This setup is ideal for studying fluids in confinement such as micro-fluidic devices, and also in very small volumes.

Systems studied so far are:

  • Fluctuation-dissipation theorem in aging clay suspensions
  • Flow of micellar cubic crystals in aqueous Pluronics (triblock copolymers) systems
  • Doping of sponge and hexagonal surfactant phases with catalytic metal nano-clusters
  • Effect of doping on the mechanical properties of a surfactant spong phase