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Pickering emulsions

In the “Pickering emulsion and colloids” group we are developing simple, and effective ways to prepare liquid core-shell structures through appropriate functionalised colloids. These so-called colloidosomes have received considerable attention in various fields, like heterogeneous catalysis, microencapsulation or as smart fillers in nanocomposites, e.g. for gas sensing. A central aim of our research is to drive advance in the colloidosomes synthesis to meet the needs of modern agriculture and food industry in sustainable, environmentally friendly and non-toxic concepts.

Our microcapsules are produced by emulsion templating, i.e. the self-assembly of colloidal nanoparticles at the interface between two non-miscible liquids. The alike formed particle layer sterically hinders the close approach of drops, thus stabilizing them against coalescence. Shell formation is done by in situ interfacial reaction of specific ligands that are added to the emulsion prior to sonication. These ligands are covalently conjugated, generating asymmetric particles. The resulting emulsions, also known as Pickering emulsions, enable us to create materials with appropriate permeability and controlled structural hierarchy.

Emphasis in our research is put on the elucidation of structure formation and self-organization of the colloidal particles at the fluids interface in order to control the pore size, pore geometry, and pore connectivity in the resulting solid composites. Our goal is a better understanding of the structure-performance relationships for future applications, namely in gas sensing and encapsulation.

Polymers2019, 11(9), 1480;

Figure 1. an illustration of the presented research.

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