R. Baum, J. Boos, E. Carey, G. Catanoiu, S. Engelskirchen, B. Feucht, M. Laupheimer, J. Porada, F. Schüler, L. Szymanski, D. Zauser, C. Stubenrauch
April 11, 2013
The research work carried out in our group can be referred to as “Colloid and Interfacial Chemistry”. We subdivide this rather broad research area into four main topics which are covered by the projects presented in this overview. The surfaces we study are surfactant-loaden water-air surfaces, the films are mainly free-standing thin foam films of less than 100 nm thickness, and the foams are 3D aqueous foams whose stability and drainage we investigate. As regards the topic “Complex Fluids” we study lyotropic liquid crystalline phases and microemulsions. In the past, we were able to establish two new tuning parameters for the formation and destruction of lyotropic liquid crystals, while current research focuses on the lyotropic mesomorphism of new surfactants and of surfactant mixtures. Apart from lyotropic liquid crystals microemulsions are a central theme in the group. Due to their unique properties and fascinating structure variety microemulsions offer a great potential as templates for the synthesis of new functional materials, which is a further research topic in our group. These studies involve the gelation of and the polymerisation in microemulsions preserving their nanostructure to create high surface area polymers. Currently, we also use microemulsions as tailor-made nano-compartmented reaction media. The studied reactions are either enzyme-catalysed conversions of substrates or the reduction of metal salts to synthesize mono- or bimetallic nanoparticles. In this context we focus on bicontinuous and water-in-oil droplet microemulsions. Last but not least we also synthesize new surfactant structures such as inositol-based surfactants and explore the properties.