We are looking for an enthusiastic and independent excellent researcher to work on an exciting project of unidirectional freezing. Using optical microscopy and temperature controlled microscopic stage we investigate the interaction of ice crystals with different materials to form porous materials and controlling ice growth with ice binding proteins.
Ice templating, which is also known as freeze-casting, takes advantage over controlled ice growth to introduce microstructure into second material that dispersed/dissolved in water. This method allows fine control of the porous microstructure and in principle can be replicated over several length scales. We focus on cellulose, the primary structural component of plants, eco-friendly and most widespread bio-material on the planet. Using acid hydrolysis we extract nano-crystalline cellulose particles from the raw cellulose. Cooling of nano-crystalline water solution at constant rate and with unidirectional temperature gradient results in formation of ice platelets oriented in parallel to temperature gradient direction with nano-crystalline cellulose particles entrapped in between. We show that control of freezing rate allows controlling the microstructure of the scaffold and makes this approach very attractive for various applications such as material and food engineering.
Full postdoc fellowship