University of Birmingham > Talks@bham > School of Chemistry Seminars > PTC Seminar: Dynamic Supracolloidal Chemical Engineering: Catalysis as a tool to tailor response in soft materials

PTC Seminar: Dynamic Supracolloidal Chemical Engineering: Catalysis as a tool to tailor response in soft materials

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  • UserProf. dr. ir. Stefan A. F. Bon, Department of Chemistry University of Warwick
  • ClockTuesday 16 May 2017, 14:00-15:00
  • HouseHaworth 203.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Dwaipayan Chakrabarti.

PTC Seminar hosted by Dr Dwaipayan Chakrabarti

In this talk we will highlight some of our latest research activities: In the first part of the talk we will discuss the use of manganese oxide as a colloidal catalyst to control membrane permeability in polymer vesicles. The main part of the talk will focus on the design of two-types of responsive soft hydrogel-based materials: We will discuss the fabrication of soft matter fibers and fiber segments made by guided and reversible assembly of emulsion droplets using a mircrofluidic wet spinning process, stabilized by a nanocomposite mixture of Laponite clay and amphiphilic pH responsive polymers. The versatility of the process is demonstrated by making stripy Janus type fibers (two and three stripes), magnetic fibers, and fibers of controlled length, solely out of emulsion droplets. This new intriguing class of soft matter material has a set of interesting features which we highlight in an application where we employ our supracolloidal emulsion fibers as a tool to in a time-controlled fashion deliver volatile compounds by means of evaporation. The release rates can be tuned as a function of ionic crosslinking degree. Next we will show the fabrication of soft hydrogel alginate-based objects, namely fibres and beads, that have an individually programmed time delay in their response to a shared environmental stimulus. We utilize the enzyme urease to programme a self-regulated change in pH, which in turn activates the designed response of gel fibre disintegration or a change in gel beads colour. This design allows for independent response behaviour of a collection of bodies in a single closed system, as well as inter-material communication on shorter length scales. The incorporation of responsive time control directly into soft matter objects demonstrates an advance in the field of autonomous materials.

This talk is part of the School of Chemistry Seminars series.

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