soft matter, fluidics and interfaces

Research within the Soft matter, Fluidics and Interfaces group is directed at interfacial phenomena and processes that are relevant for mass and heat transport. We wish to study and exploit fundamental principles where fluid flow encounters structures on a sub-millimeter length scale. Current topics of interest are:

Advanced microreactors

The fabrication and operation of dedicated (catalytic) microreactors, amendable to scaling are investigated. Emphasis is directed to the details of the flow dynamics and their relation to chemical conversions.

Soft interfaces

Liquid-liquid and gas-liquid interfaces are crucial in many chemical processes. Interfacial phenomena, including wetting behavior, interfacial geometry, are studied to gain understanding in related transport processes near these interfaces.

Micro- and nanofluidics

This topic addresses liquid flow in confined geometries. Its relation to mass and energy transport are studied in both experimental and numerical ways. Special attention is given to boundary layer and concentration polarization phenomena.


Watercleaning microreactors

(Damon Rafieian)

The ultimate goal of the project is realization of a microreactor applied for water purification employing photocatalytic reaction technique (oxidation) and hydrogenation of nitrite/nitrate (reduction). The combination of these steps is believed to remove all contaminants form drinking water.

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Interfacial transport phenomena

(Sander Haase)

Interfacial transport phenomena often determine or limit process performance. Boundary layers that are involved in these processes are studied on a microscopic length scale. This research aims at understanding transport phenomena near permeable boundaries, so that processes can be improved by exploiting these phenomena.

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Overlimiting current electrodialysis

(Joeri de Valenca)

In electrodialysis, ions are transported through an ion selective membrane. Under severe concentration polarization, electro-convective phenomena are observed at the membrane boundary. The aim is to study surface heterogeneity in relation to these electro-convective phenomena.

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Microfluidic electrokinetics

(Anne Benneker)

Charge selective interfaces under the application of an electric field are prone to overlimiting current behavior. Theoretical and numerical studies show that hydrodynamic effects are of great importance in this overlimiting behavior. The aim of this research is to experimentally investigate the microfluidic behavior causing the overlimiting current and possibly linking it to theoretical and numerical predictions.

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Biofouling in microfluidics

(Khalid El Tayeb El Obied)

Many factors affect biofilm formation rate and shape on solid surfaces: the interaction between the microorganism and the solid surface, local shear forces at the solution biofilm interface, local nutrient concentrations and other factors. The aim is to perform experimental investigations of these effects in a controlled microfluidic environment and compare the results to available numerical models.

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Surface heterogeneity and interfacial transport

(Aura Visan)

Surface heterogeneity, both geometrically as well as chemically, influence fluid dynamics and mass transport near the catalytic surface. To obtain information, we propose to experimentally probe the fluid dynamics (momentum transport) and concentration profiles (mass transport) on varying length scales.


Liquid infused membranes

(Hani Bazyar)

This project will explore the performance of liquid infiltrated membranes for separation purposes. When permeating through such a liquid infiltrated membrane, interfacial properties are crucial regarding the transport, allowing for discrimination between different liquids. Besides, the infiltration liquid can protect the porous material in terms of (bio)fouling.

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Drag reducing interfaces

(Pim Bullee)

Structured laminates will be researched regarding their potential to reduce the drag in turbulent water. Special emphasis is given to the interacting with gas bubbles. The results can be exploited in marine applications, as this project is part of a larger consortium regarding energy efficiency for ships.


Graphene membranes

(Mandakranta Gosh)

In this project, single layer graphene will be investigated that is perforated by irradiation. Graphene presents interesting interactions with water resulting in very peculiar boundary conditions. The ability to further tune the perforation in the graphene opens up applications of these layer for filtration of aqueous media. Here, we will explore ion transport through graphene based membranes.


For more information contact: Rob G. H. Lammertink

Tel: +31 (0)53 4892063 or +31 (0)53 4894798