Constructing building blocks for new colloidal materials

Colloid chemistry is vitally important to many industrial processes such as the manufacture of paint, paper, ceramics, adhesives, pharmaceuticals, foods and composites. An EU-funded project is improving the synthesis of complex structures within colloids, with the aim of creating new and innovative materials.

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Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Bosnia and Herzegovina
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czechia
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  French Polynesia
  Georgia


  Infocentre

Published: 26 April 2019  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
Industrial researchMaterials & products
Innovation
International cooperation
Research policyHorizon 2020
SMEs
Countries involved in the project described in the article
Cyprus  |  France  |  Israel  |  Sweden
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Constructing building blocks for new colloidal materials

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© kwanchaift #96911004, 2019 source: stock.adobe.com

A colloid is a mixture in which one substance comprising insoluble microscopic particles is suspended in another substance. Naturally occurring colloids include gemstones and pearls, while cheese, butter, jelly, jam, pumice and foam rubber are all synthetic colloids. The EU-funded MICROFLUSA project is paving the way towards industrial-scale production of revolutionary colloidal materials, for the benefit of citizens, industry and businesses in Europe and worldwide.

Much progress has been made recently in the synthesis of complex molecular structures within colloid solutions. These structures can be used as building blocks, enabling scientists to create new and innovative materials with a wide variety of industrial applications. However, the rate at which these structures can be produced is extremely low.

The MICROFLUSA project is aiming to increase the rate of constructing these building blocks. The starting point is the application of new processes that stimulate the organisation of droplet clusters into well-defined configurations. Droplet clusters are self-assembling structures in colloidal fluids, which generally consist of a single layer of molecules arranged in a particular form around a droplet of water.

MICROFLUSA researchers hope to better understand and ultimately harness newly developed hydrodynamic mechanisms in order to stimulate and increase the rate of constructing a variety of these tiny structures. These include droplet clusters in the form of triangles, tetrahedrons and other configurations.

The key result of the MICROFLUSA project will be the ability to form selected types of droplet clusters under much higher throughput conditions than previously possible. Once formed, these structures can be used to help colloid scientists to develop new, innovative and potentially useful materials for industrial applications. Researchers believe production rates of up to 1 million of these building blocks per second are feasible under newly developed processes. .

Project details

  • Project acronym: MICROFLUSA
  • Participants: France (Coordinator), Sweden, Israel, Cyprus
  • Project N°: 664823
  • Total costs: € 3 027 637
  • EU contribution: € 3 027 637
  • Duration: September 2015 to February 2020

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