Research
​​ Patchy Particles 
Monomer swollen seed  
     Patchy particles are the building blocks of choice for generating sophisticated superstructures using self-assembly. Inspired by atomic systems where binding is goverend by valence orbitals making bonding highly directional and selective, the interactions between these particles are localized on specific regions, i.e., patches.
1-patch  
Seed 
Phase separation  
2-patch  
​​
  Developing scalable routes towards patchy particles is key for their practical application. I focus on bulk, emulsion-based routes relying on monomer phase separation from functionalized, cross-linked polymer seed particles. Particles with controllable number of patches can be prepared via this route. The colloids contain reactive lobes which can be exploited for furhter, site-specific modification reactions, e.g., Click Chemistry of selective polymer grafting.  
Merging liquid protrusions
3-patch  
Scattering  
+                                 =
Fluorescense  
Chemical Anisotropy
Tunable Shape Anisotropy​​
Colloidal Surface Engineering  
Controlling the surface chemistry of colloidal systems is key to their functional applications and/or physical behavior.


   We demonstrated that colloids can be used to immobilze functional molecules, such as otherwise homogeneous catalytic species. The colloidal support facilitates recycling of the catalysts while combining it with a relatively large immobilization area and catalyst mobility via Brownian motion. Proof of principle was delivered by immobilization of a transfer hydrogenation catalyst on colloids

ChemCatChem. 2017, 9, 440–450

In collaboration with Prof. Klein Gebbink, UU
  Using non-covalent, tunable strategies to engineer inter-particle interactions is a promising route towards responsive, functional materials.   We explored a variety of different coupling methods to achieve this, for example, by linking supramolecular hydrogen-bonding ligands to the colloidal surface. The resulting particles could reversible assemble  as a function of temperature via on a delicate interplay between hydrophobic and H-bonding interactions.​ 

ACS Omega 2017, 2, 1720–1730


In collaboration with Prof. Voets, Dr. Vilanova & Dr. De Feijter,
TU Eindhoven
     Being able to assemble colloids in a transient, out-of-equilibrium fashion is a great challenge faced by the current soft matter community. Inspired by biological systems that operate under the influx of energy rich molecules, e.g., ATP, we developed a synthetic colloidal system capable of assembling under the influence of an externally added fuel. This neat example of transient assembly was possible via the surface immobilization of 'smart' polymers of which the charge density can be regulated by the added chemical fuel.

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 9763–9766

In collaboration with Prof. Van Esch, Prof. Eelkema &
Dr. Hendrinksen, S. van Rossum, TU Delft
​​ Polymers 
Polymers play a pivotal role as additives to lubricants to enhance their (flow) properties and life time

   In this collaborative project we develop well-defined organic-inorganic hybrid star polymers for the next generation oil additives. We employ state-of-the art polymer syntheses to fabricate macromolecular structures with unique chemical composition and topology. These novel polymers combine bulk viscosity improvement, boundary lubrication and enhanced shear stability in one single species.

Provisional Patent Filed + Manuscript in Prep.

​In collaboration with Prof. Helgeson, Prof. Hawker, Prof. Israelachvili, Dr. Bou Zerdan, Dr. Seo, Dr. Cadirov & P. Corona