New Soft Materials
Our vision is to establish scientific design principles for the creation of a new generation of soft materials demanded by 21st century technologies. These materials will combine various soft-matter components in novel and carefully controlled combinations, surpassing existing formulations in performance, robustness, and functionality. Many of them will also incorporate biologically active, or indeed living, components.
Our primary objective is to establish scientific design principles that will allow the creation of a new generation of soft materials for the 21st century. The Programme is structured around three design themes (T1-T3) and four classes of soft material (M1-M4) as described below.
Delivery impact through knowledge exchange with a range of industries that rely on soft materials is another key goal. To this end we have set up a dedicated organisation to coordinate such activities - the Edinburgh Complex Fluids Partnership (ECFP). Click here for a summary of ECFP's range of activities since it was established in 2012: ECFP Report
- T1. Controlling the rheology of multicomponent soft matter
- T2. Incorporating live biological components into soft materials
- T3. Creating new materials by active self assembly
- M1. Multiphase soft composites for energy applications
- M2. Designing particle-stabilised emulsions
- M3. Colloid/polymer composites
- M4. Controlling the behaviour of colloidal protein aggregates
- Edinburgh Complex Fluids Partnership
T1. Rheological Control
This theme aims to develop strategies for manipulating the internal structure of soft materials so as to better control their flow behaviour.
T2. Adding Live Ingredients
This theme aims to expand our knowledge of colloidal materials to address the interaction between synthetic and live biological components.
T3. Active Self Assembly
This theme aims to develop the use of self-propelled particles and/or biologically active materials to guide and control the self-assembly of colloidal structures.
M1. Soft Energy Materials
Here we address the design and fabrication of novel soft materials for the more efficient capture, conversion and storage of energy.
M2. Exotic Emulsions
Here we address the design and fabrication of novel emulsions, stabilized either by colloidal particles or proteins, and/or containing active ingredients.
M3. Colloid/polymer mixtures
Here we address design principles for soft materials whose multicomponent character leads to strong interparticle attractions.
M4. Protein aggregates
Here we address the control of aggregation of proteins or protein-like molecules into a variety of structures relevant to the design of new materials.
Edinburgh Complex Fluids
ECFP delivers industry-led research and consultancy enabling companies to benefit from the latest research and to embed design principles in the development of formulated products.