Colloids, Polymers and Surfaces Lab
The group works within the Physical-Chemistry and Thermodynamic domains of research in the broad field of colloidal and surface/interface phenomena.
The main purpose of our research is to understand:
- the hydrophobic, steric and electrostatic contributions on the self-aggregation of surfactants and polymers (which can include proteins) into colloidal particles;
- the phase behavior, rheology, thermodynamics, and diffusive properties of the different types of polymers and surfactants in solution, in particular water-soluble homopolymers and graft copolymers, and mixtures polymer+surfactant;
- the reactivity of chemicals on colloidal dispersions, namely the effects of the soft interfaces upon the kinetics.
While most part of the studies are undertaken in aqueous solution, in some recent studies we make use of other biocompatible and environment friendly solvents, namely room temperature ionic liquids (IL). The biocompatible nature of the materials involved allow us to explore new types of formulations for drugs.
Although the solution behavior of each component is important, the performance of the formulation depends to a large extent on the interplay between the surfactant(s) and the polymer(s). Hence, knowledge of the phase behavior and the physicochemical properties of the mixtures is essential in order to know polymer-surfactant interactions and to make formulation more of a science than an art.