The Experimental Platform

Soft matter research requires a diverse range of experimental tools, from large central facilities such as the Jülich Centre for Neutron Science at Garching near Munich, Germany, which provides neutron beams for scattering experiments, to smaller specialised equipment belonging to individual partners, which is specifically designed to make measurements relevant to soft-matter research. Many of the instruments are not available commercially, and are often unique, having been developed by a research group with a certain experiment in mind.

An advantage of SoftComp is that novel and unique light-scattering instruments developed by one research group can be used by other partners in the Network. Copyright: Forschungszentrum Jülich

An advantage of SoftComp is that novel and unique light-scattering instruments developed by one research group can be used by other partners in the Network. Copyright: Forschungszentrum Jülich

The Experimental Platform maintains an inventory of where such equipment is located (see below on this page), which is then made available to visiting partner groups, including PhD students and postdoctoral researchers, who are given training in its use. “This infrastructure, which is perhaps the most sustainable and enduring element in the SoftComp Network, is unique in the world and has been a real success,” says Peter Schurtenberger of the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, who leads the Experimental Platform.

Equipment includes novel light-scattering instruments and specialised microscopes, which are used to investigate structure at the microscopic length scales typical ofsoft-matter composites. Professor Schurtenberger’s own laboratory has a suite of such instruments which are suitable for studying samples relevant to industrial applications. Other research groups such as the team at the University of Leuven, Belgium, can offer specialised rheometers for measuring properties related to processing conditions. Characterisation at smaller scales can be done using neutron and X-ray scattering, spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance. “We now have the framework to create a virtual large-scale facility with an absolutely outstanding and unique instrument suite that allows the Network partners to make measurements over all necessary length and time scales for complex systems. That is one of the outstanding features of SoftComp,” says Professor Schurtenberger.

Experimental Platform Leader: Prof. Dr. Jan Vermant, ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Contact: Jan Vermant

 

 

Overview Table: SoftComp Experimental Inventory

Experimental
Techniques
Experimental
Equipment Group
Access Point/
Contact
 Partners
Neutron
Scattering
Small-angle neutron scattering,(SANS)
High-resolution inelastic neutron scattering
Medium-resolution inelastic neutron scattering
Neutron reflectronomy
Neutron defraction/polarisation analysis
R.Zorn,
FZ-Juelich
FZ-Juelich
Danish Technical University
X-ray
Scattering
Wide-angle x-ray scattering
Small-angle x-ray scattering
…coming up soon
L.Ramos,
Montpellier
CNRS-Montpellier
Univ.Göttingen
Light
Scattering
DLS-SLS
Speciality DLS
Diffusive wave spectroscopy
Small-angle light scattering
Brillouin Scattering
B.Loppinet,
FORTH
 FORTH
Univ.Edingburgh
CNRS-Montpellier
Spectroscopy Dielectric Spectroscopy (Time domain method)
Dielectric Spectroscopy (Frequency domain method)
NMR
Angel.Alegria,
San Sebastian
 San Sebastian
Rheometry
rheo-optics
Rotational rheometry, strain controlled
Rotational rheometry, stress controlled
Capillary rheometry
Extensional rheometry
Interfacial rheometry
rheo-optics
P.van Puyvelde,
Univ.Leuven
 Univ.Leuven
FORTH
FZ-Juelich
Univ.Leeds
Danish Technical University
Light
Microscopy
Confocal
Fluorescence
J.K.G.Dhont,
Fz-Juelich
FZ-Juelich
Univ.Utrecht
Univ.Poznan
Univ.Edingburgh
Inst. Curie
Electron Microscopy

Cryo Techniques

EFTEM
TEM/STEM
SEM
ESEM
AFM
Belkoura,
Uni-Koeln
Uni.Koeln
Uni.Vigo
BASF

 

 

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