This project addresses the quantitative analysis of attenuated internal reflection infrared spectra (ATR-IR) of multiphase mixtures, such as emulsions and suspensions. The aim is to determine whether ATR-IR spectroscopy can be used for quantitative analysis of complex fluids in the field. Two objectives of the project will be to determine how the effective optical path length of radiation in the mixture is related to the microscopic structure of the fluid and whether the composition within the penetration depth of the radiation is representative of the overall composition of the sample. The latter is expected to be a function of particle/droplet size, the shear rate of the fluid and the wettability of the internal reflection crystal. The project will make use of model colloidal systems and additional spectral measurements, such as Raman spectroscopy and imaging. The project may also address modelling of the internal reflection spectroscopy of multiphase mixtures using, for example, finite-difference time-domain simulations.
This studentship is funded under the EPRC industrial CASE scheme with Schlumberger Cambridge Research Ltd as the project partner. The duration of the studentship is 4 years, preferably commencing on 1 October 2019 or 1 January 2020. The student will be expected to undertake a placement of at least 3 months’ duration in Schlumberger’s research centre in Cambridge. The studentship is restricted to students who satisfy the UK residency requirement (https://epsrc.ukri.org/skills/students/coll/icase/intro/ )
The academic supervisor of the project is Prof. Colin Bain, Department of Chemistry, Durham University.