Nano/multi-scale simulations of surfactants near interfaces/surfaces
Position Details (PhD)
A 4-year PhD position at the University of Twente (UT, Enschede, The Netherlands) is available within an NWO project through the Fundamental Fluid Dynamics Challenges in Inkjet Printing-second phase (FIP-II) program. The position is at the Multi-Scale Mechanics group (MSM) of the department of Thermal and Fluid Engineering (TFE). The offered PhD position is part of a joint research project with Canon Production Printing (Venlo, The Netherlands) and the Physics of Fluid (POF, UT) group.
Surfactants are amphiphilic molecules, consisting of a hydrophobic tail and a hydrophilic head group. This duality makes them surface-active and allows them to alter the interfacial properties of fluids. Surfactants play an important role in optimizing printing processes. The adsorption of surfactants at the interface/surface controls the wetting and spreading behavior of ink droplets on paper. The transport and redistribution of surfactants within the ink droplet generate tangential Marangoni stresses and non-uniform capillary forces, which affect the flow of ink on and into porous paper. Yet, the details of the underlying physics and chemistry at different scales (in time and length) are still poorly understood.
In this project, multiscale numerical approaches will be used, including Molecular Dynamics (MD) and Dissipative Particle Dynamics (DPD), to explore the behavior of surfactants in the vicinity of surfaces and interfaces. We strive to understand the transport of surfactants from the bulk to an interface/surface, and their effect on the wetting behavior of the fluid. The simulation results will be compared against concurrent experiments by our industrial partner.
We encourage applications from candidates with an MSc degree or equivalent in physics, material science, chemistry, fluid mechanics, or related fields. Knowledge of surfactants, interfacial phenomena, or emulsions is highly appreciated. Experience with numerical simulations (molecular dynamics, DPD, or other small-scale methods) and/or programming is advantageous. Proficiency in spoken and written English, and the ability to work in a team, are requirements.