Experimental Groups

Joshua Dijksman

University of Wageningen

We are interested in the mechanical behavior of structured materials. In particular, we aim to understand how microstructure and interparticle forces combine to generate the surprising solid/fluid dynamics in for example soft particle packings, suspensions, granulates and other athermal particulate systems. To gain insight in these microscopic features, we develop new experimental tools such as macroscopic three dimensional microscopy, photo-elastic stress imaging and novel rheological methods. In addition, we combine 3D printing, video microscopy and other experimental techniques to explore the mechanics of soft friction and the flow behavior of active matter.

Jasper van der Gucht

University of Wageningen

The Wageningen Soft Matter group works on a range of diverse topics, in which macromolecules generally play an important role. Specific topics include: foams, emulsion and ionic liquids; dense particle systems; biomimetic materials; molecular modelling; proteins and engineered protein polymers; self-assembly of micelles, membranes and vesicles; hydrogels. We aim at analysing soft materials from a physics point of view and manipulating them using chemical tools and expertise.

Martin van Hecke

University of Leiden and Amolf

We investigate the mechanics of soft materials near marginal points, such as the elasticity of marginal networks, and the flow and jamming of granulates, suspensions and foams. We focus on the interplay between mesoscopic organization and macroscopic features, and we combine numerical simulations, video imaging and mechanical/rheological measurements.

Arnout Imhof

University of Utrecht

We study concentrated colloidal dispersions subjected to external fields such as gravity, an electric field, or a shear flow. This way we can manipulate the particles to assemble into new structures, to undergo (non-equilibrium) phase transitions, or to form patterns. The 3-dimensional structure and dynamics are studied mainly using confocal microscopy, but also with scattering techniques and rheology. For these experiments new colloidal particles with anisotropic shapes or interactions or with a composite core-shell structure are also developed.

Willem Kegel

University of Utrecht

We are interested in the mechanisms that govern the spontaneous formation of ordered structures from colloidal building blocks. Inspired by the rich complexity in biology, we develop and study new colloidal model systems in which both the geometry of the colloids and the orientation dependent interactions between them can be tuned. While emphasis is on experiments, theory plays an important role in our approach.

Gijsje Koenderink

Amolf

We investigate the physical mechanisms that govern the self-organization and (active) mechanical properties of living cells. We focus mainly on the physics of cytoskeletal polymers, active matter, and cellular mechanosensing. Key technologies in our lab are advanced microscopy, optical tweezer manipulation, optical microrheology, and rheology. Ultimately we aim to learn biological design principles to design new biomimetic materials.

Ger Koper

TU Delft

The Advanced Soft Matter group focuses on developing nanostructured components. Interest ranges from (bio)organic to nanostructured inorganic materials and hybrids. Main challenge is to upscale from nanostructures to large-scale production. Research is fundamental in nature with a clear link to applications.
My current research is on materials for fuel cells and dissipative self-assembly.

Daniela Kraft

University of Leiden

The soft condensed matter group of Daniela Kraft is interested in the physics and self-organization of soft matter systems. Topics include the rational design of anisotropic and patchy particles for use as model systems and self-assembly, particle-covered emulsions and virus particles.

Bas Overvelde

Amolf

We focus on the design, fabrication and fundamental understanding of materials that are capable of autonomously adapting to – and even harnessing – variations in their environment. We aim to uncover principles that help us understand how non-linearity and feedback can result in the emergence of complex – but useful – behavior in soft actuated systems. To this end, we explore active and sensing elements to implement feedback capabilities and computation in soft architected materials, and use a combination of computational, experimental and analytical tools. This line of research uniquely combines concepts from soft robotics and architected materials, providing new and exciting opportunities in the design of compliant structures and devices with highly non-linear behavior.

Peter Schall

University of Amsterdam

We investigate soft condensed matter at the micron scale - crystallization and phase separations, solid and liquid-like behavior, elastic and plastic properties. Using three-dimensional microscopic imaging and light scattering we bridge length scales from the particle scale to macroscopic lengths, thereby linking the microscopic behavior of these materials to their macroscopic properties.

Joris Sprakel

University of Wageningen

We study and develop new responsive colloidal and polymeric systems. A major aim is to identify the mechanisms for catastrophic macroscopic phenomena such as fracture, melting and phase inversion at which microscopic structures, stresses and thermal fluctuations all become of significance. We also work on manipulating this interplay at the microscopic level to create new materials with enhanced functionality.

Remco Tuinier

TU Eindhoven

In the Laboratory of Physical Chemistry we study the i) self-organization of colloids and polymers, ii) phase behaviour (and dynamics) of colloidal and colloid-polymer mixtures and iii) polymers & colloids at surfaces. For theme i applications involve the controlled encapsulation of compounds that need protection and/or need to be released at a desired rate. Topic ii aims at gaining a better understanding of the phase stability and dynamics in complex mixtures of colloids and polymers and bringing the knowledge towards mixtures in which the particles have realistic interactions (such as charges, soft repulsions). Applications involve understanding phase stability of complex mixtures such as food and (drying) paint. Theme iii involves the development of advanced (modified) surfaces for anti-(bio)fouling, controlled absorption/release and specific (bio)adhesion using tuned chemistry and topography as well as modifying surfaces to understand wettability, swelling, oil/water interaction(s).

Devaraj van der Meer

Universiteit Twente

We study the mechanics of granular materials and fluids, with a particular focus on those situations in which they interact with each other. Think for instance of the impact of a raindrop on sand, or the behavior of a very dense granular suspension. We strive to employ a combination of experiments, analysis and numerical techniques to attain to a profound understanding of the physics behind these systems.

Hans Wyss

TU Eindhoven

We use and develop experimental tools to study the structure, dynamics and rheology of soft materials, thereby revealing the physical mechanisms that govern their behavior. Current topics include the mechanics of cells and soft microgel particle systems, the use of microfluidics to control and study soft matter, colloids with anisotropic interactions, and the development of new mechanical probes.