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  • Writer's picturePatrizio Raffa

Another excellent student defended his thesis at RaffaLab

Floris van Lieshout recently defended his master research in chemical engineering with a thesis titled: "Elucidating structure-properties relationships of polymeric surfactants". This work started as a side project for the PhD thesis of Aleksander Guzik on new polymeric surfactants for application in EOR, but became a more fundamental study, aimed at exploring interfacial behavior of amphiphilic polymers with non-traditional architectures, such as block random copolymers, or random-random copolymers with two different compositions of random blocks. Floris, under the supervision of Alex, sytnehsized various polymers using RAFT polymerization, and found very interesting and unexpected emerging phenomena, such as the presence of a LCST (low critical solubility temperature) from monomers that usually do not show thermoresponsive behavior, and a self-aided solubilization effect. He also explored the effect of the introduction of charged monomers in neutral structures, and he performed an interesting study of interfacial rheology, to further investigate emulsion stability.

The polymers prepared and studied by Floris are potentially useful not only for enhanced oil recovery applications, but also as dispersants, emulsifiers, solubilizers for e.g. smart coatings or controlled delivery systems.

He even completed typing his thesis with a broken finger :)

Congratulations, Floris!

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