Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz, Germany

Department: Physics at Interfaces

The Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research ranks among the top research centers in the field of polymer and interface science world-wide. The work force is made up by 400 scientists. The institute combines all the necessary specialized expertise - from the creative design of new materials, from their synthesis in the lab to their physical characterization as well as the theoretical understanding of polymer characteristics. The Institute is divided into six departments:

  • Polymer theory
  • Physical chemistry of polymers
  • Physics at interfaces
  • Molecular spectroscopy
  • Molecular electronics
  • Synthesis of macromolecules
There is strong interaction between the different departments working on interdisciplinary research projects.

The Physics at Interfaces Group focuses on the physics of soft matter interfaces. Our general aim is to derive simple quantitative descriptions of soft matter interfacial phenomena. Major topics are interfacial forces and wetting, in particular wetting of super liquid-repellent surfaces. To gain a profound understanding of the main concepts of the wetting phenomenon under investigation, we design model-structures, analyze the microscopic and macroscopic features with complementary experimental techniques and make use of mean-field descriptions to realize generic features. Our goal is to solve fundamental questions, with the perspective of future applications. In particular we aim for adaptable design of super-liquid repellent or slippery surfaces for gas exchange, anti-icing, anti-biofouling, heat exchange, particle synthesis, next to others socially and environmentally relevant topics.

Research Infrastructure:
two laser scanning confocal microscopes, a lateral adhesion force instrument, two high speed cameras, several atomic force microscopes, a Langmuir Blodgett trough, a contact angle measurement device. The MPI-P has an X-ray photoelectron spectrometer, two scanning electron microscopes, well equipped chemical and physical labs and a newly installed clean-room. Experienced technical staff is available to aid smooth adaptation to these high level instruments.

Selected Publications

  • Direct observation of drops on slippery lubricant-infused surfaces, F. Schellenberger et al. H.-J. Butt, D. Vollmer, Soft Matter 11, 7617-7626 (2015).
  • Super liquid-repellent gas membranes for carbon dioxide capture and heart-lung machines. M. Paven, D. Vollmer, H.-J. Butt, et. al.:, Nat. Comm. (2013) DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3512.
  • Candle soot as a template for a transparent robust superamphiphobic Coating, X. Deng, H.-J. Butt, D. Vollmer, et. al., Science 2012, 335, 67.
  • Droplets leap into action, D. Vollmer, H.-J. Butt, Nature News & Views (2015), 527, 41

The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford, Great Britain

Theoretical Physics

Oxford is a world-leading research and teaching university. Soft matter at Oxford is highly interdisciplinary, spanning the departments of physics, chemistry, engineering and maths. Experimental, theoretical and computation approaches are used to address a wide range of research including microfluidics, self-assembly, rheology, wetting and imaging. Distinguished faculty and visitors, outstanding post-docs and students, and a wide range of seminars and lectures provide a lively and interactive research environment.

Key Research Facilities:
advanced simulation approaches; hydrodynamic theory and modelling; theory of fluid-structure interactions; seminar series in soft matter, theoretical physics, condensed matter, group meeting; journal club

Research infrastructure:
lattice Boltzmann software, multiparticle collision dynamics software, clusters (sub-departmental and university) and graphics card computing facilities

Selected Publications:

  • Pancake bouncing on superhydrophobic surfaces, Y. Liu, L. Moevius, X. Xu, T. Qian, J.M. Yeomans and Z. Wang, Nature Physics 10 515 (2014).
  • Symmetry-breaking in drop bouncing on curved surfaces, Y. Liu, M. Andrew, J. Li, J.M. Yeomans and Z. Wang. Nature Comm, in press (2015).
  • Lattice-Boltzmann simulations of droplet evaporation, R. Ledesma-Aguilar, D. Vella and J.M. Yeomans, Soft Matter 10 8267 (2014).
  • Modelling receding contact lines on superhydrophobic surfaces, B.M. Mognetti and J.M. Yeomans, Langmuir 26 18162 (2010).
  • Impalement of fakir drops, M. Reyssat, J.M. Yeomans and D. Quéré, EPL 81 26006 (2008).

TUT Foundation – Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland

Depart. Of Materials Science

Prof. Petri Vuoristo
Prof. Jurkka Kuusipalo
Dr. Heli Koivuluoto
Dr. Johanna Lahti

TUT is an active scientific community of 2.000 employees and more than 10.000 students. The University operates in the form of a foundation and has a long-standing tradition of collaboration with other research institutions and business life. The Department of Materials Science has specific research teams, who perform internationally recognized level materials research in the field of surface engineering and materials science. The laboratory of surface engineering has a broad range of coating manufacturing equipment and a long-term experience in research and development of novel coatings and materials particularly by thermal spraying techniques. Recent research has been focused on icephobic materials and testing of anti-icing properties of the coatings and surfaces.

Key Research Facilities
Laboratory of Surface Engineering (Prof. Vuoristo) has a strong background in the field of surface engineering including thermal spraying and laser surface treatments. Several spray technologies are available including solution precursor flame spray (SPFS), high-velocity flame spray (HVOF, HVAF), plasma, and cold spray techniques. The ice accretion and adhesion test facilities allow laboratory scale anti-icing experiments. Laboratory of Paper Converting and Packaging Technology (PCPT) (Prof. Kuusipalo) has expertise on extrusion coating, laminating, dispersion coating, surface treatments, and functionalization. PCPT has solid collaboration with academia and industry in Finland and abroad.

Selected Publications:

  • Research on icing behavior and ice adhesion testing of icephobic surfaces, IWAIS 2015, H. Koivuluoto, et. al. P. Vuoristo.
  • Wettability and Anti-icing Properties of Slippery Liquid Infused Porous Surfaces, H. Niemelä-Anttonen, M.Sc. Thesis, TUT, Finland, 2015, 103.
  • Effect of spraying parameters on the microstructural and corrosion properties of HVAF-sprayed Fe-Cr-Ni-B-C coatings, Milanti, A.; et al. P. Vuoristo, Surf. Coat. Tech., 277, 81, 201.5
  • Superhydrophobic Coatings on Cellulose-Based Materials,, H. Teisala, M. Tuominen, J. Kuusipalo, Adv. Mat. Inter., 2014, 1, 1300026,

Ecole superieure de physique et de chimie industrielle, Paris, France

CNRS, PMMH laboratory

ESPCI is probably the strongest place in France for Soft Matter. All subfields from Physics to Chemistry, passing by Biology and Mechanics are covered, which creates unique synergies. The place is also known to be coupled with many companies (the I in ESPCI means “industrial”), and to have launched many successful high-tech startups. The group on Soft interfaces (at the frontier between physics and mechanics) has a lot of experience in the fields of drops, bubbles, film, coating, morphogenesis and biomimetics.

Key Research Facilities
Several high-speed cameras, diverse microscopes, coating devices, SEM, goniometer, tensiometer, reflectometry, free access to the local clean-room and its techniques of microfabrication.

Selected Publications:

  • Water impacting on superhydrophobic macrotextures, A. Gauthier, S. Symon, C. Clanet & D. Quéré, Nat. Comm. 6, 8001 (2015).
  • Self-removal of condensed water on the legs of water striders, Q. Wang, X. Yao, H. Liu, D. Quéré & L. Jiang, PNAS 112, 9247–9252 (2015).
  • Propulsion on a superhydrophobic ratchet, G. Dupeux, P. Bourrianne, Q. Magdelaine, C. Clanet & D. Quéré, Sci. Rep. 4, 5280 (2014).
  • The force of impacting rain, D. Soto, A.B. De Lariviere, X. Boutillon, C. Clanet, D. Quéré, Soft Matter, 10, 4929 (2014).
  • Slippery pre-suffused surfaces, A. Lafume, D. Quéré, Europ. Phys. J., 96, 56001 (2011).

University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands

Physics of fluids: theory & experiment

The Physics of Fluids group in Twente is a world-leading laboratory in the field of fluid physics, hosting state of the art facilities in experimental, numerical and analytical methods. Research topics cover all length scales, from large-scale turbulent flows down to wetting and nanofluidics. See The Physics of Fluids group is embedded in the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, providing access to outstanding facilities for nanofabrication and measurement techniques. Distinguished faculty and visitors, outstanding post-docs and students, and a wide range of seminars and lectures provide a lively and interactive research environment.

Key Research Facilities

  • Training infrastructure: hydrodynamic theory and modelling; fluids and elasticity, experimental techniques, group seminars in fluid dynamics and soft matter, national PhD schools fluid mechanics (Burgers Center)
  • Research infrastructure: computer cluster, broad variety of numerical techniques (molecular dynamics and continuum), high-speed imaging, microscopy, rheology, cleanroom facilities (MESA+)

Selected Publications

  • Droplets move over viscoelastic substrates by surfing a ridge, S.A. Karpitschka, S. Das, M. van Gorcum, H. Perrin, B. Andreotti, and J.H. Snoeijer, Nature Comm. 6, 7891 (2015).
  • Surface nanobubbles and nanodroplets: Lohse D and Zhang Z., Rev. Mod. Phys. 87, 981-1035 (2015).
  • Drops on soft solids: Free energy and double transition of contact angles, J. Fluid Mech. 747, R1 (2014).
  • Drop impact onto immiscible liquid, Lhuissier H., Sun C., Prosperetti A., and Lohse D., Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 264503 (2013) [5 pages].
  • Elasto-capillarity at the nanoscale: on the coupling between elasticity and surface energy in soft solids, J.H. Weijs, B. Andreotti and J.H. Snoeijer, Soft Matter 9, 8464 (2013).
  • Moving contact lines: scales, regimes and dynamical transitions, B. Andreotti and J.H. Snoeijer, Ann. Rev. Fluid Mech. 45, 269 (2013).

Airbus Group Innovations, Munich, Germany

Mechanical Engineer

Airbus Defence and Space GmbH is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2013, Airbus Defence and Space GmbH generated revenues of € 59.3 billion and employed a workforce of about 144,000.

Airbus Group Innovations (AGI) is the corporate research facility of Airbus Defence and Space GmbH with operations in France, Germany, Spain, UK, Singapore and Russia. Its overall workforce is more than 800 researchers. Within AGI, the Surface Engineering Dept. provides research and development facilities for advanced materials and new process technologies from elementary parts to optimised hybrid structures, in an integrated network within Airbus Defence and Space GmbH and in close co-operation with suppliers, universities and other research institutes. Within the Surface Engineering Dept., the Aerodynamic Surfaces Laboratory is equipped with state of the art testing equipment and with a lab-scale icing wind tunnel (the ice and COntamination REsearch facility - iCORE) for testing ice accretion from ice particles and from supercooled water droplets.

Key Research Facilities:
The entire lab-infrastructure of Airbus Group Innovations will be available for the student. This comprises galvanic, plasma, and laser laboratories for surface functionalization and machining, an additive layer manufacturing (ALM) laboratory, a painting laboratory; a surface analytics and metallography laboratory with a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), a X-ray scattering apparatus, a X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscope (XPS), polarization microscopes, a laser scanning confocal microscope (LSCM); and atmospheric chambers for the accelerated aging of surface coatings under various influences (UV, salt spray, humidity, temperature). Test rigs for characterizing rain and sand erosion of surfaces and surface coatings, and for conducting aging studies of coatings (UV, salt spray tests, etc.)

Selected Publications:

  • Ice crystal impact onto a dry solid wall. Particle fragmentation, T. Hauk, E. Bonaccurso, I.V. Roisman, C. Tropea, Proceedings of the Royal Society A, 471, 20150399 (2015).
  • General Frost Growth Mechanism on Solid Substrates with Different Stiffness, J. Petit, E. Bonaccurso, Langmuir, 30, 1160 (2014).
  • Effects of Surface Characteristics and Droplet Diameter on the Freezing of Supercooled Water Droplets Impacting a Cooled Substrate, J. Blake, D. Thompson, D. Raps, T. Strobl, E. Bonaccurso, Proc. of 6th AIAA Atmosph. and Space Environ. Conf. (2014) DOI: 10.2514/6.2014-2328 .
  • Superhydrophilic and superhydrophobic nanostructured surfaces via plasma treatment, J.P. Fernandez-Blazquez, D. Fell, E. Bonaccurso, A. del Campo, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 357, 234 (2011).

German Textile-Research-Institute North-West e.V., Essen, Germany

Synthetic chemistry

The DTNW ÖP GmbH is textile research and testing lab focused on the analysis and development of functional textile systems. The DTNW caters the need of the SME based textile community by providing a link between academic development and textile manufacturing SMEs. Centered around a certified chemical and physical testing lab, novel analysis and functionalization techniques are developed to meet the demands of our customers. The ESR will be enrolled at the University of Duisburg-Essen.

Key Research Facilities
The DTNW is equipped with fully equipped chemical labs for synthesis as well as a state of the art notified testing lab (chemical and mechanical) and operated lab scale coating devices. Access to semi industrial pilot plants is possible via cooperation treaties. Via our notified chemical testing lab we have access to a large network of manufacturers of technical textiles, membranes and porous surfaces. We will use these contacts to disseminate the project results in a direct manner and to address the needs of the SME based textile industry.

Selected Publications

  • Super-wetting surfaces by plasma- and UV-based grafting of micro-rough acrylate coatings, Bahners, T.; Prager, L.; Pender, A.; Gutmann, J. S.,. Progress in Organic Coatings 2013, 76 (10), 1356-1362.
  • Nanofiber-assembled biomatrix for corneal tissue engineering: Enhanced drug delivery by integration of specific surface linkers, Stafiej, P.; Salehi, S.; Gutmann, J. S. ; Schubert, D. W.; Kruse, F.E.; Bahners, T.; Fuchsluger, T.A.;, Investigative Opthalmology & Visual Science, 2015 56 (7), 4145
  • Design of Thermally Responsive Polymeric Hydrogels for Brackish Water Desalination: Effect of Architecture on Swelling, Ali, W. ; Gebert, B.; Hennecke, T.; Graf, K; Ubrich, M.; Gutmann, J.S.;, Deswelling, and Salt Rejection, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2015 7 (29), 15696-15706
  • Distortion of Ultrathin Photocleavable Block Copolymer Films during Photocleavage and Nanopore Formation, Altinpinar, S.; Zhao, H.; Ali, W.; Gutmann, J.S.; et al. Langmuir, 2015, 31, 8947-8952
  • Strategies for permanent immobilization of enzymes on textile carriers, Kiehl, K.; Straube, T.; Opwis, K. Gutmann, J.S.; et al., Engineering in life sciences, 2015, 15, 622-626.

Millidyne Oy, Finland

Hydrid Dept.

Petri Sorsa (M.Sc.)
Jari Knuuttila (M.Sc.)
Annika Lautala (M.Sc.)

Millidyne Oy is an innovative coating material provider for applications, where non-stick, wear resistance and chemically stabil coatings are needed. Millidyne has wide understanding and experience of applications in pulp and paper industry worldwide. Millidyne is a partner of two EU-projects (HYDROBOND and INCOM), where anti-icing and nano-structured coating properties are investigated. The ESR will be enrolled at Tampere University of Technology (TUT).

Key Research Facilities:
FTIR, Contact Angle analyzer, wear resistance analyser, UV-testing chamber, rhometer/viscometer, high shear mixers, research/development lab, computer facilities.

Selected Publications:

  • Avalon® , Dyrel and Neoxid product families support the WP13.
  • Antimicrobiological coating prepared onto surface of substrate comprises binding agent forms coating layer oriented with substrate, and as antimicrobiological component, polyhexamethylene guanidine salt, bound to surface of substrate, J. Knuuttila, M. Kolari, P. Sorsa, Patent Numbers: WO2009060123-A1, FI200705785-A, FI120129-B1, EP2214489-A1, Patent Assignee: MILLIDYNE OY.
  • Thermally sprayed alumina coatings with strongly improved wear and corrosion resistance, K. Niemi, P. Sorsa, P. Vuoristo, T. Mantyla, Proc. 7th Nat. Ther. Spray Conf. 1994,533.
  • Sealing of thermal spray coatings by impregnation, J. Knuuttila, P. Sorsa, T. Mantyla, J. Thermal Spray Technol., 1999, 8, 2, 249-257.

University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Depart. of Chemistry

The UZH is the biggest university in Switzerland offering all major relevant academic programs. It is dedicated to fundamental and applied science including a competitive, internationally highly ranked and strong science faculty. The Department of Chemistry consists of about 20 independent research groups working in a broad sense in the field of chemical research interwoven in particular with life and material science. Prof. Seeger’s group is a leading and internationally well recognized research group focusing on surface and material science. The group consists of approximately 18 members on the Postdoc, PhD student, and Master student level. His major achievements are the development of the Supercritical Angle Fluorescence (SAF) Microscopy, its application in protein-lipid bilayer interaction and the silicone nanofilament (SNF) technology. SNFs and their derivatives are ideal nanomaterials to tailor the wettability of surfaces.

Key Research Facilities
The groups owns various chemistry labs equipped with gas phase and liquid chemistry devices. A large gas phase coating equipment including cleaning facility and oxygen plasma generator is available. Further, high sensitive fluorescence spectroscopy imaging devices are available including a 3D-SAF-system; Coating devices, in particular spray coating systems are belonging to the group. Other equipment is available at the Physics department (XPS) and the Center of Microscopy (SEM, TEM, HTEM, FIB-Nanotomography, Confocal Scanning Systems, STORM, etc.)

Selected Publications

  • Multifunctional Hybrid Porous Micro/Nanocomposite Materials, Chu Z., Seeger S.: Advanced Materials 27, 7775–7781 (2015).
  • Robust superhydrophobic wood obtained by spraying silicone nanoparticles, Chu Z., Seeger S.:, RSC Advances 5, 21999 – 22004 (2015)
  • Superoleophobic Coatings with Ultra-low Sliding Angles Based on Silicone Nanofilaments, Zhang J., Seeger S.: Angewandte Chemie Int. Ed. 50, 6652-6656 (2011)
  • Polyester Materials with Superwetting Silicone Nanofilaments for Oil/Water Separation and Selective Oil Absorption, Zhang J., Seeger S.: Advanced Functional Materials 21, 4699-4704 (2011)
  • Nanometer Axial Resolution by Three-Dimensional Supercritical Angle Fluorescence Microscopy (3D-SAFM), Winterflood C., Ruckstuhl T., Verdes D., Seeger S.: Physical Review Letters 105, 108103 (2010)