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Soft Matter and Wetting

Water droplets rolling on a superhydrophobic copper surface
Prof. Robin Ras, the head of Soft Matter and Wetting research group. Photo by Mikko Raskinen
Professor Robin Ras, the head of Soft Matter and Wetting research group. Photo by Mikko Raskinen

Robin Ras, Associate Professor

Soft Matter and Wetting (SMW) is a multidisciplinary research group consisting of physicists and chemists. We are interested in functional soft materials and the wettability of surfaces. Many of the materials we work on are inspired by nature, such as extremely water-repellent biological surfaces that provide the basis for synthetic superhydrophobicity.

HYBER

The SMW group is a member of HYBER, the Academy of Finland's Centre of Excellence in Molecular Engineering of Biosynthetic Hybrid Materials research (2014-2019).

ERC Consolidator Grant

The leader of the SMW group, Professor Robin Ras, has received a Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). The topic of this five-year project is "Superslippery Liquid-Repellent Surfaces".

Research highlight

The SMW group and their collaborators introduce a new method for wetting characterization of surfaces. The new Scanning Droplet Adhesion Microscopy (SDAM) technique is 1000 times more sensitive than the existing commercial force tensiometers, and enables detailed wetting mapping of topographically complex, liquid-repellent surfaces.

Liimatainen V., Vuckovac M., Jokinen V., Sariola V., Hokkanen M., Zhou Q., Ras R.H.A.,
Mapping microscale wetting variations on biological and synthetic water-repellent surfaces,
Nature Communications 8, 1978 (2017). (link) [pdf] (press release)

 Scanning Droplet Adhesion Microscopy (SDAM) technique is 1000 times more sensitive than the existing commercial force tensiometers, and enables detailed wetting mapping of topographically complex, liquid-repellent surfaces. The image shows a schematic of droplet adhesion -based wetting mapping on a Striped Crow Butterfly wing. Maja Vuckovac / Aalto university
Schematic of droplet adhesion -based wetting mapping on a Striped Crow Butterfly wing. Aalto university / Maja Vuckovac

Publications of the Soft Matter and Wetting group

Scientific articles published by us.

Publications
A family portrait of ferrofluid drops under magnetic field

Research group members

Hedar Al-Terke

Hedar Al-Terke

Department of Applied Physics
Doctoral Candidate
Matilda Backholm

Matilda Backholm

Department of Applied Physics
Academy Postdoctoral Researcher
Sourov Chandra

Sourov Chandra

Department of Applied Physics
Postdoctoral Researcher
Matti Hokkanen

Matti Hokkanen

Department of Applied Physics
Postdoctoral Researcher
Muhammad Junaid

Muhammad Junaid

Department of Applied Physics
Doctoral Candidate
Mika Latikka

Mika Latikka

Department of Applied Physics
Doctoral Candidate
Kai Liu

Kai Liu

Department of Applied Physics
Postdoctoral Researcher
Heikki Nurmi

Heikki Nurmi

Department of Applied Physics
Doctoral Candidate
Robin Ras

Robin Ras

Department of Applied Physics
Professor (Associate Professor)
Maja Vuckovac

Maja Vuckovac

Department of Applied Physics
Postdoctoral Researcher
Cunming Yu

Cunming Yu

Department of Applied Physics
Postdoctoral Researcher
Shaochen Zhou

Shaochen Zhou

Department of Applied Physics
Doctoral Candidate

Facilities of the Soft Matter and Wetting group

Summary of our research equipment and facilities.

Facilities
Water droplet suspended on a micropillar surface

News

What's new in Soft Matter and Wetting?

Vuckovac_award
Research & Art Published:

Dr. Maja Vuckovac receives 2018 Exerowa-Platikanov Award

Dr. Vuckovac was granted the Exerowa-Platikanov Award for best oral presentation at the European Colloid and Interface Society (ECIS) annual conference 2018
Research & Art Published:

Three Academy of Finland postdoctoral researcher positions to HYBER CoE researchers

Matilda Backholm, Sesilja Aranko and Suvi Arola received funding from the Academy of Finland
The ERC is funding for ground-breaking, cutting-edge research. Professor Robin Ras is excited to contribute to the rapidly growing field of science and technology of non-wetting surfaces. Photo Mikko Raskinen, Aalto University.
Press releases, Research & Art Published:

Physicist Robin Ras receives 2 million euro ERC funding for research on non-wetting surfaces

In the future, new types of extremely non-wetting surfaces can be applied from everyday life to high-performance microfluidic devices.