and Structural Chemistry
Department of Chemistry
Imperial College London
Exhibition Road, London
+44 (0)207 594 5886
+44 (0)207 594 5850
Computer simulations and statistical mechanics
techniques are being applied to study colloidal, interfacial and ionic systems.
Our research is focused on the development of models for understanding the
molecular interactions in these systems, and in this way provide a route
to obtain their structural properties and phase behaviour. I am also interested
in the development of new computer simulation methodologies, in particular,
to calculate interfacial properties. The research encompasses a range of
systems, from colloids to thin films, relevant to a number of technological
applications. Some applied areas of interest are given below.
Wetting phenomena at
We are investigating the wetting
behaviour of nanometer scale objects adsorbed at liquid-vapour and liquid-liquid
interfaces. At the nanoscale the line tension plays an important role
in determining the wetting properties of these systems. Using theoretical
analyses we have recently predicted that the line tension can be used
as a new variable to control surface actitivity of nanoparticles depending
on their shape. This work involves both theoretical and computer simulation
studies and collaborations with experimentalists.
- Fluids under confinement conditions
The study of liquids confined in nanoporous systems is of great interest
in science and technology. Our work is aimed to understand the structure,
dynamics and thermodynamics of confined systems, with particular enphasis
on crystallisation processes in confined spaces of a few nanometers size.
These studies are relevant to areas such as nanotribilogy (lubrication,
friction and wear) and adhesion phenomena. Also crystallisation of salts
in small pores is present in geological processes and cause disruption and
weakness of building stones and aggregates.
- Structure and stability of thin films
Thin films exhibit a fascinating behaviour which cannot be explained in
terms of standard theories. Our aim is to provide a microscopic understanding
of the origin of the surface forces in thin films and in particular films
of a few nanometers width. Our interests also involves the study of the
synergistic behaviour observed in polymeric systems in the presence of other
species. This research has important applications in several areas: stability
of foams and emulsions, liquid-liquid friction, oil recovery, biological
membrane interactions or molecular self-assembly.
- Modelling of electrochemical phenomena
Work is currently underway to study electrochemical phenomena at electrified
interfaces. Charged interfaces add a new dimension to the study of wetting
phenomena. An example of this is electrocapillarity which results in dramatic
changes in the wetting properties of electrolyte solution in contact with
surfaces. Otherwise electro-osmosis can drive the movement of fluid molecules
along charged surfaces. This process plays an important role in a new type
of technology know as 'lab on a chip'. We are interested in modelling these
complex phenomena by employing computer simulations, and in this way gain
a microscopic understanding on why and how they occur. This knowledge could
be used for the optimisation of devices based on these processes.