TERC - Tremplin-ERC

Photonic Foams: Micro-bubbles encapsulated by plasmonic nanoparticle shells with controlled rheological and optical properties – PhoFo

Submission summary

The "PhoFo" project is a multi-disciplinary, multi-scale, research effort with the objective to design, create and characterize novel functional fluids (liquid foams, and micro-bubbles dispersions), made from micro-bubbles encapsulated by plasmonic nanoparticle shells.
Micro-bubbles dispersions and foams are used in a wide range of applications from food, cosmetics and medical products to oil recovery and soil remediation, for their complex mechanical and rheological properties.
However, these microbubbles are intrinsically unstable and disappear quickly, if a resistant membrane does not protect them. Furthermore, understanding and controlling the flow properties of those soft materials remain nowadays a puzzling challenge.
Our main goal is therefore to develop a robust, simple, flexible and inexpensive method (based on a process that we invented recently at the Physics Laboratory of ENS de Lyon) to tailor nano-structured interfaces, in order to control the mechanics, rheology and photonics of the microcapsules and their dispersion.
Combining various microscopy techniques coupled to nano/micro-mechanical tests, we will probe the deformation up to rupture of the encapsulating membranes, from the nanostructure of the templating particles, through the microcapsules scale, up to the macroscopic scale of their dispersions.
The primary objective is to understand how the nanostructure of the encapsulating shells, as well as their chemical composition and surface properties determine the capsules stability, and mechanical strength. Subsequently, these microcapsules will be formulated to create novel functional fluid dispersions "soft photonic materials" with specific mechanical and optical properties.
We will therefore develop model experiments to address the following questions:
- What are the basic physical and chemical criteria needed to create robust encapsulating nanoparticle shells?
- How their nanostructure impacts the microcapsules’ deformation and resistance to rupture and can be modified to control the release of the payloads?
- How a suspension of capsules flows -move and deform- in confined geometries?
- How could we tailor-make the nanoparticle membrane to modify optical properties of the capsules and their dispersions, and thus, formulate soft photonic materials?

Project coordination

Stéphane Santucci (Laboratoire de Physique de l'ENS de Lyon - UMR 5672)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


LP - CNRS Laboratoire de Physique de l'ENS de Lyon - UMR 5672

Help of the ANR 139,999 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: May 2017 - 18 Months

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