Interfaces of complex fluids

Interfaces of complex fluids

The group investigates the behavior of complex fluids at their interfaces with solids and gases. For instance, ball pens work well on paper, but would typically fail on glass. The reason for this is the different interaction of the ink, a complex fluid, with the different kinds of surfaces. Similarly, the quality of an ink-jet print depends critically on the drying behavior of the ink which is deposited as tiny droplets onto almost any kind of surface. From ambient humidity to surface porosity, various parameters will impact this process. The impact of our projects spans from everyday occurrence (e.g. paper) over biology to computer technology (silicon microchips).

New aspects of surface wetting revealed
When a surface is getting wet, also the composition of the liquid plays a role in the wetting process. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (MPI-DS) found that phase separation within the wetting liquid directly affects the dynamics of spreading. Their findings may be important in various applications, including tissue engineering, biology and semiconductor manufacturing. The study was recently published in the scientific journal PNAS. more
Robert-Wichard-Pohl-Medal for Stefan Karpitschka
July 16, 2022
Stefan Karpitschka received the Robert-Wichard-Pohl-Medal for his course "Physics of Sports", held in Winter 2020/21. The prize is awarded by the University of Göttingen for excellent teaching and was presented at this year's "Dies Physicus", the graduation ceremony of the Physics Faculty. more
Science Night in Göttingen
On July 9, the Night of Science took place in Göttingen. Visitors could choose from more than 420 lectures, exhibitions and activities spread throughout the city of Göttingen. In total, more than 25,000 guests participated in the various exhibitions and events that night. At the MPI for Solar System Research, where our booth was located, about 4,500 visitors were counted. Our group participated with a detailed exhibition on cyanobacteria, for which we prepared and presented our research in a generally understandable way. more
It's all in the mixing

It's all in the mixing

May 12, 2022
A group of scientists led by Nate Cira of Harvard and Cornell University and Stefan Karpitschka of the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization has discovered that some liquid droplets first spread out on surfaces and then contract again on their own. This boomerang effect depends on the composition of the droplets. Since these leave virtually no traces when they contract, unlike conventional drying, this opens up new possibilities for cleaning and removing particles from sensitive surfaces such as microchips. more
New support for fluid physics research
Researcher from MPI-DS receives research fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt foundation more
The memory of folds

The memory of folds

July 21, 2021
What happens when soft materials are compressed strongly? Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamic and Self-Organization, the University of Twente and Cornell University now revealed the morphology of creases created upon folding at micrometer scale. They revealed a dual folding mechanism driven by capillary forces, similar to wetting liquids, causing a T-shape folding profile. The unfolding leaves behind a scar which serves as a nucleation point for subsequent folds. Without damaging the material, it thereby enables a freely programmable folding memory of soft surfaces. more
Priority Program SPP 2171 – “Dynamic Wetting of Flexible, Adaptive and Switchable Surfaces”
What happens if a droplet moves over solid that is so soft that it gets deformed by the capillary action of the droplet? And what if the solid would also responds to the contacting liquid by changing its surface properties? How would that change the dynamics of wetting or dewetting i.e., the rate at which the drop moves? And wouldn’t it be useful if, by some trick, we could change the surface “on demand” to be water-repellent or not? Nature plays these tricks every day, as in the water-repellent plumage of a kingfisher, or the slippery surface of carnivore plants on which not even insects can grab a hold. Such and similar questions are addressed in the newly established SPP 2171, to which Stefan Karpitschka is serving as a member of the coordination board, and his group is participating in this joint research effort. more
Max Planck - University of Twente Center for Complex Fluid Dynamics
The Max Planck-University of Twente Center for Complex Fluid Dynamics is an interdisciplinary platform shared between the MPI for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen, the MPI for Polymer Research in Mainz, and the University of Twente in Enschede, The Netherlands. Together, we aim to understand the complexities inherent to multi-component fluids on all length scales, from nanoscopic surface interactions to large-scale turbulent flows. The Groups of Stefan Karpitschka and Corinna Maass are participating in the Center, both in the context of Marangoni-driven flows. These flows are popularly known from the “Tears of Wine” effect, and early research dates back even to the 19th century where Carlo Marangoni and James Clerk Maxwell were working on it. Even today we do not understand many aspects of this effect, primarily due to the complex nature of the liquids that show it. Recent technological advances, e.g. in ink-jet printing, are demanding a better knowledge, and, at the same time, bring advancements into tangible reach. more
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