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Numerical simulations of drop motion in open microfluidics (Advert Reference: SF18/MPEE/SEMPREBON)

  • Full or part time
    Dr C Semprebon
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

When a drop is placed on a solid substrate, surface defects induce pinning of the contact line and the ubiquitous phenomenon of contact angle hysteresis. For example drop stick to window glasses when gravity is not sufficiently strong to overcome pinning forces. A recent study[1] demonstrates that contact angle hysteresis determines the optimal angle at which highly viscous drops can cross a chemical step, showing that a clever design can turn an unwanted feature into a rich source possibilities to control of drop motion in open microfluidics. Furthermore, recently introduced SLIPS (Slippery Lubricant Infused porous Substrates) show that hysteresis can be strongly inhibited[2], at the price that the drop dynamics is now dominated by the lubricant[3].

The aim of this project is to numerically explore drop dynamics excited by body forces, using a ternary lattice Boltzmann model [4], and to compare the effect of hysteresis on a liquid-gas system to the effect of lubricant in a liquid-lubricant-gas system. The student will first characterise drop oscillations in absence of patterns, and subsequently investigate how capillary imbalance induced by hysteresis or variable film thickness will drive motion in presence of topographic features.

Please note eligibility requirement:

* Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
* Appropriate IELTS score, if required

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see
https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/research/postgraduate-research-degrees/how-to-apply

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. SF18/MPEE/SEMPREBON) will not be considered.

Start Date: 1 March 2019 or 1 June 2019 or 1 October 2019

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University hold an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers.

Funding Notes

This is an unfunded research project.

References

[1] C. Semprebon et al, Soft Matter, 12,8268. (2016)
[2] C. Semprebon, G. McHale, and H. Kusumaatmaja. Soft Matter 13.1 (2017)
[3] M.S. Sadullah, C. Semprebon, and H. Kusumaatmaja. Langmuir 34 (2018)
[4] M. Wohrwag C. Semprebon et al. Physical Review Letters , 23 (2018)

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