Dynamics of Complex Fluid-Fluid Interfaces

26 - 30 September 2011

Venue: Lorentz Center@Oort

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Description and aim

Complex fluid-fluid interfaces are abundant in nature and in synthetic materials. Examples of such interfaces are found in living cells, liposomes, polymersomes, microbubbles, core-shell nano- and microparticles, and emulsions. The interest in these systems has increased considerably in the past decade, in view of their potential for application in controlled and targeted release systems (in pharmaceutical products, functional food, cosmetics, detergents), medical diagnostics (ultrasound contrast agents), or biotechnology (nano- and microreactors). The dynamic behavior (stress-deformation behavior, mass and heat transfer) of these systems is extremely complicated, and often poorly understood. A better understanding of this behavior is essential for the development of new applications of these materials, with tailored properties.

Classical mono-disciplinary approaches fail to capture the intriguing behavior of these systems. To gain a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of these materials a multidisciplinary multiscale approach is needed that combines experimental techniques for the determination of interfacial structure and properties, with theoretical modeling and computer simulations. Such an approach requires an integration of the disciplines of nonequilibrium thermodynamics (NET), statistical physics, biophysics, physical chemistry, colloid science, biochemistry, polymer physics, rheology, and computational physics.

The aim of this workshop is to bring together experts in these fields, who share a common interest in modeling the behavior of multiphase systems with complex interfaces. With this workshop we wish to promote a cross fertilization between these disciplines, and stimulate new developments in this exciting field, by identifying key areas for future research. New strategies for combining experimental, theoretical, and numerical methods will be explored, and novel schemes to link information on all relevant length scales of these complex systems will be examined. Specific questions that will be addressed are: 1) Which experimental techniques are best suited for characterization of the macroscopic nonlinear behavior (stress-deformation, mass and energy transfer) of complex interfaces, 2) which structural evaluation methods are available (or need to be developed) to link this behavior to the molecular and colloidal structure of interfaces, 3) how can molecular, mesoscopic, and macroscopic theoretical modeling and computer simulations be used to interpret experimental observations of nonlinear behavior, and 4) what are the current needs of industry with respect to properties of multiphase systems such as emulsions, foam, or encapsulation systems.

We hope the workshop will act as a seed for future collaborations between the participants, on an international scale. This workshop will help to push forward the boundaries of the field of interfacial dynamics, and provide a stimulus for modeling of nonlinear interfacial behavior in terms of molecular and microstructural parameters of interfaces.


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