The manipulation of multi-phase fluids comprised of two or more immiscible liquids at very small length scales is an emerging avenue for materials discovery. Shaping such fluid phases into small droplets, bubbles, emulsions, or bicontinuous domains can be viewed as a precursor step towards fabricating nanoparticles and porous solids with desirable structure. Sophisticated variants can be responsive, coupled to each other or can provide an environment that sustains life. Various strategies to manipulate such multi-phase fluids include: flow through microfluidic channels and nozzles, thermally-induced phase separation, and the segregation of solid particles with varying wettability and shape to liquid-liquid interfaces. These techniques can yield multi-compartmentalized core-shell droplets with unprecedented uniformity, emulsions with dense particle-laden interfaces that resist coarsening, and droplets/bubbles with switchable surface characteristics. Fundamental insights into the basic properties of multi-phase liquids including solid-liquid wetting, confined complex fluids, interfacial physics, and flow behavior are essential to the advancement of these efforts.
This symposium will draw together researchers from the fields of droplets, bubbles, emulsions, microfluidics, and the utilization of these fluidic systems for material synthesis. Studies that advance these fields using experiments, theoretical development, or numerical simulation will be showcased. The symposium welcomes research on both low molecular-weight fluids such as oil and water, complex fluids such as liquid crystals and biopolymers, as well as high molecular-weight fluids such as polymer solutions. Fluid-fluid mixtures with solid dispersions leading to particle-stabilized droplets, bicontinuous interfacially jammed emulsions (bijels), and high internal phase emulsions are of particular interest, as are microfluidic techniques for creating droplets; including single-component droplets and multi-phase, multi-component droplets. Fundamental research on fluid-fluid interface properties, including third-party segregants such as nanoparticles, macromolecules and microbes, and the response of such systems to external stimuli are also welcome.