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Particle Characterisation

A wide range of characterisation methods are used in our group to investigate the properties and functionalised of our particles. We also develop new methods to characterise liquid dropelts and solid particle properties, such as composition, size, morphology and interfacial tension.

Optical Microscopy
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We use bright-field, single- and two-photon excitation fluorescence, confocal and fluorescence life time imaging microscopy to characterise the structures of our microfluidically-generated particles, including single and multiple emulsion droplets, core-shell capsules, Janus particles, etc. Digital images processing methods are also used to determine particle physical properties, such, for example, droplet interfacial tension and surfactant monolayer's bending rigidity. Some of these optical microscopy techniques were available to us via STFC-funded facility access time grants at the Central Laser Facility of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (Harwell Campus, Didcot).

References

R. Al Nuumani et al. (2018) Microfluidic production of poly (1, 6-hexanediol diacrylate)-based polymer microspheres and bifunctional microcapsules with embedded TiO2 nanoparticles. Langmuir, 34, 11822-11831.

G. Bolognesi et al. (2016) Mechanical characterization of ultralow interfacial tension oil-in-water droplets by thermal capillary wave analysis in a microfluidic device. Langmuir, 32, 3580-3586.

Electron Microscopy and
Spectroscopy
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We have access to a broad range of analytical techniques and equipment of the Loughborough Material Characterisation Centre through which we characterise the physical and chemical properties of our particles (top figure) and microfluidic devices (bottom figure).

Reference

R. Al Nuumani et al. (2020) Highly porous magnetic Janus microparticles with asymmetric surface topology. Langmuir, 36, 12702-12711.

N Singh et al. (2022). Enhanced accumulation of colloidal particles in microgrooved channels via diffusiophoresis and steady-state electrolyte flows. Langmuir, 38, 14053-14062.

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