Many industrial processes and consumer products involve systems containing multiple liquid and solid phases — including emulsions, suspensions, suspo-emulsions, solid/liquid gels, and others. These systems are finding a place in the synthesis of new materials with engineered structures and properties. In the October AIChE Journal Perspective article “Nanomaterials Fabrication by Interfacial Templating and Capillary Engineering in Multiphasic Liquids,” Orlin D. Velev and Sangchul Roh from North Carolina State Univ. discuss and exemplify the development of new liquid-based processes for making polymeric and composite materials.
Velev is the recipient of the 2017 AIChE Andreas Acrivos Award for Professional Progress in Chemical Engineering. His research group, where Roh is a PhD candidate, has developed several methods for manufacturing structures and materials based on multiphasic liquid-liquid-polymer systems. They are seeking to translate these methods to novel industrial manufacturing processes.
Velev and Roh describe two broad groups of liquid-liquid systems conducive to the formation of new materials. The first involves polymer precipitation in sheared liquid phases (Figure 1, top). Controlling polymer...
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