PhD position nano/multi-scale simulations of surfactants near interfaces/surfaces

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.

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Vacature details

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Aantal uur
Universitair (WO)

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 generates 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 simulations results will be compared against concurrent experiments by our industrial partner.

We encourage applications from candidates with a MSc degree or equivalent in physics, material science, chemistry, fluid mechanics or related fields. Knowledge on 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.

Bedrijfsprofiel Universiteit Twente

The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) engages in education and research of Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. We enable society and industry to innovate and create value using efficient, solid and sustainable technology. We are part of a ‘people-first' university of technology, taking our place as an internationally leading center for smart production, processes and devices in five domains: Health Technology, Maintenance, Smart Regions, Smart Industry and Sustainable Resources. Our faculty is home to about 2,900 Bachelor's and Master's students, 550 employees and 150 PhD candidates. Our educational and research programmes are closely connected with UT research institutes Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Center and Digital Society Institute.


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