Novel Fluid-particle Interaction Mechanisms in Dispersions

Lecture by Darsh T. Wasan

Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering
Illinois Institute of Technology

Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Room 1800 Engineering Hall
Refreshments at 3:45 p.m.
Lecture at 4:00 p.m.

Dispersion science holds the key to cost-effective manufacturing of an unimaginably large number of chemicals and consumer products. The control of industrial processes varying from sedimentation, flocculation, and coagulation to the manufacture of advanced self-assembled materials can be greatly improved by a better understanding of the interaction forces between particles and the confining geometries that affect the quality and stability of colloidal dispersions. This is especially the case in a concentrated colloidal dispersion where particles are more likely to come in close contact with one another and become more ordered in the confines of their restricted environment. In recent years, due to the advent of new instrumentation for measuring interaction forces in fluid-particle systems, novel forces, such as the structural force arising from the energy barrier caused by particle microstructuring, and the attractive depletion force caused by the excluded volume effect, have been characterized. This lecture will highlight the role of structural forces in stabilizing dispersions and especially point out their importance in a variety of technological contexts such as particle sedimentation, wetting, spreading and adhesion of such systems on solid surfaces. Theoretical results based on Monte Carlo simulations and integral equations of statistical mechanics are compared with the experimental data.

Darsh T. Wasan

Darsh T. Wasan is the Motorola Chair Professor of Chemical Engineering and Vice President for International Affairs at Illinois Institute of Technology. He received his B.S. degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He has spent his entire professional career at IIT, and has held a variety of academic and administrative posts, including chemical engineering department chairman, interim dean of engineering, vice president for research and technology, and vice president for academic affairs and provost. He has been elected to membership in the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and as a Foreign Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering. His many honors include the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Alpha Chi Sigma Award for Chemical Engineering Research, the American Chemical Society National Award in Colloid and Surface Chemistry, the American Society for Engineering Education Chemical Engineering Lectureship Award, and several endowed lectureships. His current research in the area of dispersion science and engineering includes foams, emulsions and particle dispersions, wetting and spreading of nanofluids on solid surfaces, detergency, and interfacial rheology. He is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Colloid and Interface Science.