Research Team / Research Group Name (if any)
Grupo de Sistemas Complejos: Polímeros, tensioactivos e interfases
Brief description of the Research Team / Research Group / Department
The Complex System Group of the UCM is a group established from more than 20 years. Among its interest are topic involved in different areas of physico-chemical that include the study of critical phenomena in fluids and the study of polymers, colloids, interfaces and biophysics. <br />The group is currently for 2 Full Professors, 1 Associate Professor, 1 Research Fellow and 2 Ph Student.
Research lines / projects proposed
The work will be focused on understanding of the physico-chemical bases underlying the assembly of molecules, from simple surfactants to high molecular weight polymers and proteins, and supramolecular objects (organic and inorganic colloidal particles, graphene sheets, carbon nanotubes) close to interfaces. Some of these systems and combinations of them will be the bricks for the fabrication of advanced materials and structures. Therefore, it is expected that from the understanding of the physico-chemical bases governing the interactions of colloids and colloid-like materials with interfaces and the assembly processes, it would be possible to obtain shortcuts for designing new materials with promising properties. This has become a challenge for the development of new nano-technological approaches, fostering important research efforts. It is worth mentioning that the restriction of the region accessible to molecules or particles imposed by the interface controls in many cases different problems with technological or biological interest. <br />Despite self-assembly is very common in nature, a main difficulty appears from the necessity of a driving force, i.e. molecules or colloidal objects should be directed to assemble in a controlled fashion avoiding phase separation. This requires a careful control over the interactions involved in the assembly process, which can present a broad range of origins: electrostatic, van der Waals, hydrogen bonding, covalent bonds, that can be combined for a given design depending on the assembled molecules or colloidal objects. Special relevance presents the understanding of the many-body interactions, , due to their effect on the transport of molecules within the confinement region, and between this and the two continuous phases.