PhD project: Bringing Order to a ‘Zoo’ of Colloidal Gels

Project description

Sticky colloidal particles aggregate. When conditions are right, they can form a stringy, space-spanning structure – a ‘gel’ – which behaves in many ways like a solid even though the sample may contain more than 90% liquid. Many personal care products and foods (e.g. yoghurt) are such gels. Recent theoretical advances have suggested that gels can form through a variety of ‘kinetic pathways’, the precise one being chosen being sensitively ‘tuneable’ by varying external conditions. Using a combination of experimental techniques, including microscopy and mechanical measurements, you will test these theoretical ideas in a very well characterized ‘model colloid’ developed in Edinburgh (and now adopted by many groups worldwide). There may be opportunities to work with various industrial partners.

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