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Polymer - Particle Interactions

Catherine Cooper

Catherine Cooper

I joined the Polymers at Interfaces Group in 2009, and my PhD project is jointly sponsored by the EPSRC and AkzoNobel.

Before coming to Bristol, I did my Undergraduate degree at Cardiff University. My final year project was with the Cardiff Soft Matter Research Group, under the supervision of Dr. Peter Griffiths. I successfully formulated a metallomicroemulsion (an oil-in-water microemulsion stabilised by a metallosurfactant) and studied the system using diffusion NMR and small-angle neutron scattering.

My current work focuses on the interactions between polymers and colloidal particles in aqueous solutions. Previous studies in our group have used solvent relaxation NMR to study the competition between two polymers for adsorption sites on silica particles. Instead, I examine the adsorption of polymers in systems where there is more than one type of colloidal particle. This is of particular interest in industrial formulations, where it is usual for a wide range of particles and polymer stabilisers to be used.

I am currently concentrating my studies on a model system of silica and alumina-modified silica in competition for poly(vinyl pyrrolidone), however I will also be looking into colloidal titanium dioxide, and the use of alternative polymers and surfactants that are of more interest to my industrial sponsors. I will predominately using the solvent relaxation NMR technique, but I will also be making use of small-angle neutron scattering.

Contact: Catherine.Cooper@bristol.ac.uk