Making materials matter: understanding the behaviour of materials for optimising technological processes and product applications
Aims of the research theme
Overview and objectives
Our research aims to understand the behaviour of materials from a fundamental knowledge of the way in which interactions between molecules and larger structures influence the organisation and dynamics of bulk assemblies of materials. By elucidating the microscopic behaviour of a material, we aim to predict and optimise its macroscopic response, for a particular technological process or product application.
Methods and capabilities
We apply a combination of advanced analytical and computational modelling methods with physical characterisation techniques including atomic force microscopy, vibrational spectroscopy, novel spectroscopic imaging, inverse chromatography, light, X-ray and neutron scattering, Quartz microbalance and rheometry. Nanoscale imaging of nanostructured materials using tip-enhanced Raman scattering is another area of emerging research. We study a wide range of materials including polymers, colloids, powders, pastes, agglomerates, fibres, composites, foods, pharmaceuticals, biomaterials, thin liquid films, surfactants and supercritical fluids.
A Film about Films: Membranes Research at BP-ICAM
Researchers at BPICAM are taking on the challenge of creating more efficient membranes
Researchers at the BP International Centre for Advanced Materials (BP-ICAM) are taking on the challenge of creating more efficient membranes with the potential for new applications.
Through experiments and mathematical modelling, a team of chemical engineers at Imperial College London, led by Professor Andrew Livingston, are developing a new understanding of the structure and function of polymer membranes from reverse osmosis.
Studying the fundamental science of membranes is allowing BP to improve the efficiency of off-shore water desalination processes, to reduce the amount of energy used in oil extraction and increase the efficiency of the process.
A sister project at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, led by Professor Benito J. Mariñas, is researching membranes for waste water clean-up. The Illinois team are developing polymer membranes that will be selective, letting water pass through and rejecting organics that are toxic to nature.
Do the silica shake
A new non-Newtonian fluid: goo that goes from liquid to solid when shaken
Researchers have discovered a new non-Newtonian fluid, a new non-Newtonian fluid: goo that goes from liquid to solid when shaken (read the paper in Colloids and Surfaces A).