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NanoLiquids: Property Changes of Multiphasic Fluids by Geometrical Confinement in Advanced Mesoporous Materials

Fluids confined in nanometer-size porous geometry exhibit unique properties that have no equivalent in the corresponding bulk systems. As such, they deserve an extensive interest for their high potential of technological innovation. In this context, the scientific community has been encouraged to improve the ground basis knowledge of nanoconfined liquids. During the last decade, an impressive number of physico-chemical properties have been studied when confining a fluid in a mesoporous medium. As a whole, it appears that the nature of the surface-liquid interaction and the geometric parameters of confinement readily affect the phase behavior, structure, dynamics and fluid flow, leading to original physico-chemical phenomena.The next step in the field would be to direct the (new) properties of nanofluids in a desired manner. Many of the studied systems comprised a single fluid phase confined in a ‘passive’ porous material, which is seen as a bottleneck to such developments. For this reason, the intension of the NanoLiquids project, is to explore the properties of new systems that would allow for an unprecedented control of interfaces based on the nanoconfinement of multicomponent fluids into functionalized porous materials with periodically alternating surface chemistry. Starting from examinations of the mesoscale structure and dynamics of the bulk binary systems the physico-chemical properties of mixtures confined in tailored mesoporous media shall be explored. In particular effects such as microphase separation, enhanced gas solubility and confinement-induced changes in the fluid rheology as well as the interplay of these phenomenologies will be in the research focus. These studies will be possible only by the combination of an extensive number of complementary methods and skills in physics and chemistry, both experimental and numerical, encompassing temporal and spatial windows that range from the molecular to the macroscopic scales and provide a strong added value to the proposed French-German collaboration.

Funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, Germany) and L'Agence nationale de la recherche (ANR, France).

Principal Investigators:

Michael Fröba, Universität Hamburg 
Patrick Huber, Technische Universität Hamburg
Denis Morineau, CNRS - Université de Rennes 1


Open positions:

Job Title: Postdoctoral position in experimental physics - Rennes (France)

We are looking for an enthusiastic candidate with a PhD in the field of physics or chemical-physics and a prior experience with condensed matter studies and characterization methods (such as neutron scattering, dielectric spectroscopy, calorimetry). An experience related to the thermodynamics, dynamics and structure of liquids, glassforming systems or molecular nanomaterials will be considered as an advantage.
The postdoctoral project is hosted by the Institute of Physics of Rennes, a CNRS-University joined unit. Rennes is located in Brittany (France), c.a. 1h30 by train west from Paris.
The announcement of the position is valid until the position is filled.

Starting date: September-November 2019

Qualifications: Ph.D. degree in Condensed Matter Physics, Chemical Physics

Project term: 12-24 months

Location: Institute of Physics of Rennes, University of Rennes 1, FRANCE

Contact: Denis Morineau


Selected Publications:

Properties of Water Confined in Periodic Mesoporous Organosilicas: Nanoimprinting the Local Structure
J. Benedikt Mietner, Felix J. Brieler, Young Joo Lee, and Michael Fröba
Angewandte Chemie International Edition 56, 12348 (2017).

Microphase Separation of Binary Liquids Confined in Cylindrical Pores
A. Razzak Abdel Hamid, Ramona Mhanna, Ronan Lefort, Aziz Ghoufi, Christiane Alba-Simionesco, Bernhard Frick, and Denis Morineau
J. Phys. Chem. C 120 (17), 9245 (2016).

Soft Matter in Hard Confinement: Phase Transition Thermodynamics, Structure, Texture, Diffusion and Flow in Nanoporous Media
Patrick Huber
Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 27, 103102 (2015).