We are working in soft condensed matter with a focus on the phase, interface and flow behaviour of colloidal particles. Our main experimental technique is optical microscopy, which includes confocal microscopy, fluorescence and simple video-microscopy (homemade and commercial microscopes). We typically combine this with microfluidics and optical tweezers.
Colloidal suspensions and their interfaces are ubiquitous in nature and have attracted the interest of scientists for many centuries. Colloidal systems are highly interesting and relevant, as they find numerous applications in several industrial branches. In addition, colloids are widely accepted as a versatile model system for atoms and molecules as their rich phase behaviour is analogous to that of atomic and molecular systems. The typical colloidal length and time scales make it possible to directly observe colloidal particles in real-space and real-time using video and confocal microscopy. Advanced colloid chemistry techniques are available to tune the chemical and physical properties of the particles or even to develop completely new and unique colloidal model systems.
My research is focused on rotary molecular motors, in particular the Bacterial Flagellar Motor, which is a rotary molecular engine powered by the flow of ions across the inner, or cytoplasmic, membrane of a bacterial cell envelope.