Symposium SB11—Multiphase Fluids for Materials Science—Droplets, Bubbles and Emulsions
Fluids composed of at least two immiscible fluids, so-called multi-phase fluids, are often the base of the fabrication of materials. Accurate control over their flow offers exciting avenues to control the shape of the resulting materials, for example by forming bicontinuous domains in the fluids, or breaking them into drops and bubbles that can serve as soft compartments. These soft compartments can be used, for example, to perform chemical or biochemical reactions, screen synthesis conditions, or even to mimic aspects of biological cells. Drops can also be used as templates to fabricate advanced materials with well-defined structures and new properties by partially or fully solidifying their contents.
Fluids can be manipulated for example by tuning the wettability of surfaces, using microfluidic channels and nozzles, changing the surrounding conditions such as temperature, pH, or by applying light or electric and magnetic fields. All these challenges require fundamental insights into the basic properties and behavior of multi-phase fluids, including wetting, soft matter properties, hydrodynamic instabilities, confined complex fluids, interfacial phenomena, and flow behavior. This knowledge opens up new possibilities to fabricate the next generation of hierarchical responsive materials, low-cost diagnostic assays, advanced biotechnologies as well as the use of multi-phase fluids to produce and control living systems.
This symposium will draw together researchers and engineers working on fundamental and applied problems related to droplets, bubbles, emulsions, colloids, microfluidics, soft matter, biophysics, synthetic biology, the utilization of these fluidic systems for material synthesis, and the development of smart analytical approaches. Studies that advance our current understanding in these topics and methodologies using experiments, theoretical development, and numerical simulation will be showcased. The symposium welcomes research on 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. In addition, we welcome research on fluid-fluid interfacial properties, including third-party components such as nanoparticles, macromolecules and micro-organisms, and the response of such systems to external stimuli. This includes engineering aspects that focus on the development of new tools to manipulate fluids, such as microfluidics, as well as scientific aspects that include the use of fluid-fluid mixtures with solid dispersions to form particle-stabilized droplets, bicontinuous interfacially jammed emulsions (bijels), and high internal phase emulsions. In addition, we welcome contributions that use emulsions and complex fluids to guide living systems and those that use drops and complex fluids as templates to fabricate new materials.