Mesa+ Meeting

1Advanced materials & devices, chaired by Floris Zwanenburg

2Fluidics & microsystems, chaired by Mathieu Odijk

3Photonics & (bio)systems, chaired by Annemarie Huijser

4Soft matter & devices, chaired by Wiebe de Vos

Soft Matter & Devices

Chair: Dr. Wiebe M. de Vos


Soft Matter comprises a wide variety of states that are easily deformable, including: fluids, polymers, colloids, and gels. This gives Soft Matter peculiar properties, such as various types of responsive behaviours and the ability to self-assemble into complex structures. Within MESA+ many groups research Soft Matter fundamentals or utilize these materials as a basis for their approaches to nanotechnology.

The Soft Matter and Devices Focus Area aims to bring together the excellent work performed within MESA+, where Nanotechnology and Devices are based on Soft Matter. This focus area is coupled to the monthly Soft Matter+ colloquium series, as organized by team of Postdocs and Tenure Trackers from various research groups. This session will show a variety of very promising and recent work at MESA+ regarding Soft Matter and Devices.



Brief introduction by Wiebe M. De Vos


Hubert Gojzewski (MTP)

To stick or not to stick


Evelien Maaskant (IM)

Hyper-cross-linked hybrid thin films


Rielle de Ruiter (POF)

Stability Limits of Capillary Bridges


Stan Maassen (BNT)

Towards macromolecular nanoparticles using a virus-based scaffold


To stick or not to stick – Hubert Gojzewski (Materials Science and Technology of Polymers)

Most of AFM based Single Molecule Force Spectroscopy studies are performed at perpendicular desorption configuration, i.e. molecule stretching direction forms a right angle with the substrate.  The desorbed section of chains, however, makes a finite angle with the substrate, and can result in different pulling force (critical force vs. angle). Therefore, the pull angle must be known. We show our first attempt to face this problem experimentally with AFM for a single polymer chain. 

Hyper-cross-linked hybrid thin films – Evelien Maaskant (Inorganic Membranes)

Hyper-cross-linked networks consisting of homogeneously distributed covalently bonded inorganic or biological and organic precursors are anticipated to show remarkable characteristics that may be distinct from those of the individual constituents. Fabrication of these networks by interfacial polymerisation allows the formation of smooth, ultra-thin, and defect free thin films that can for instance be used as membranes. During this talk, the preparation and performance of these hybrid membranes will be discussed.

Stability Limits of Capillary Bridges – Rielle de Ruiter (Physics of Fluids)

The equilibrium shape of a drop in contact with solid surfaces can undergo continuous or discontinuous transitions upon changes in either drop volume or surface energies. In many instances, such transitions involve the motion of the three-phase contact line and are thus sensitive to contact angle hysteresis. Using a combination of electrowetting-based experiments and numerical calculations, we demonstrate for a generic sphere-plate confinement geometry how contact angle hysteresis affects the mechanical stability of competing axisymmetric and nonaxisymmetric drop conformations and qualitatively changes the character of transitions between them.

Towards macromolecular nanoparticles using a virus-based scaffold – Stan Maassen (Biomolecular NanoTechnology)

Macromolecular nanoparticles find different applications in, for example, drug delivery, imaging and coatings. Although a variety of polymerization protocols have been reported, it remains challenging to synthesize them with precise control over their size and dispersity. Here we employ the protein cage of the Cowpea Chlorotic Mottle Virus, which is highly defined, as a scaffold to achieve such control in the preparation of macromolecular nanoparticles.