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Dynamics of fluid/liquid interface

Project Description

We are seeking a person with a passion for fluids/soft matter to undertake an experimental PhD.

When two phases come into contact, the interface between them is rarely simple or simply black or white.
Such interface exhibits very different behaviour from the bulk of either fluid and harvesting these properties leads to novel technologies.

This project covers the fundamentals of the interfaces of the gas/liquid, liquid/liquid and liquid/solid which are central to essentially every industry where more than one phase is present, e.g. emulsions & spray drying; oil and minerals industry; waste water treatment, energy and materials engineered for e.g. medical or pharmaceutical purposes.

PROJECT DETAILS: The experimental work will involve application of optical tools (high-speed camera capable of capturing 100 000 fps !) to visualise fluid flow, interface and topology during coalescence t in liquid/liquid and gas/liquid systems with an extension to polymerisation reaction. Surfactants and polymers are frequently used to modify the chemistry of liquids and here, we aim at unique structures formation that is novel with a huge potential. Experimental work will be mostly carried out in the physics lab at University of Auckland and the characterisation at Massey and University of South Australia. The predictive tools will be applied using numerical simulations in joint effort with Imperial College London team.

Funding Notes

$NZD 27,000 per year plus fees covered.
Requirements: >= 7.5 GPA/ First class


E. Nowak, Z. Xie, N.M. Kovalchuk, O.K. Matar, M.J.H. Simmons, Bulk advection and interfacial flows in the binary coalescence of a surfactant-laden drop with a surfactant-free drop, Soft Matter, 13, (2017), 4616-4628.
E. Nowak, N.M. Kovalchuk, Z. Che, M.J.H. Simmons, Effect of surfactant concentration and viscosity of outer phase during the coalescence of a surfactant-laden drop with a surfactant-free drop, Colloids and Surfaces A, 505 (2016) 124-131.

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