The Polymers and Microfluidics group is centred on experimental soft condensed matter. We study complex fluids, often multicomponent systems, containing polymers, copolymers, (nano)-particles and surfactants.
Microfluidics provides unique opportunities to synthesise, formulate, process and analyse fluids and is therefore explored in our work.
Additionally, we employ extensively scattering (light, X-rays and neutrons), microscopy, calorimetry and spectroscopy - but we also develop our own measurement tools. Particularly, we resort to novel combinatorial and high-throughput techniques to address problems with large parameter space where conventional experimentation becomes unfeasible.
News and current projects
October 2018. EPSRC project "Enhancing Machine Learning with Physical Constraints to Predict Microstructure Evolution" has been announced (with N Clarke and R Wilkinson)
João receives the 2016 McBain medal by the RSC/SCI.
Current Research Projects
- Thermodynamics and dynamics or polymer blends with a combination of real- and reciprocal-space techniques, including microscopy and AFM, and light and neutron scattering.
- Local polymer dynamics in homopolymers, blends and nanocomposites, studied by calorimetry, spectroscopy and incoherent inelastic neutron scattering.
- Microfluidics: both the fabrication of novel devices and applications in soft condensed matter and biology.
- ‘Frontal photopolymerisation’ (FPP) theory and applications in rapid 3D microfluidic fabrication, particularly of solvent-resistant structures and microreactors.
- Microfluidics applications include microchemical reactors, a fast "interfacial tensiometer", in-situ polymer/surfactant processing and inspection using scattering and microscopy, microfluidic manipulation and interrogation of motor neurons.
- Fullerene association in model homopolymer matrices: bulk and thin film confinement, studied using microscopy, small angle scattering and reflectivity techniques.
Flow of complex fluids through microfluidic channels