Dr Radomir Slavchov
(i) Adsorption of surfactants and electrolytes
Our group is developing an adsorption database and models that allow us to predict the distribution of surfactants between several interfaces and phases, including micelles in the aqueous phase, associates in the oil phase etc. The question is related to competitive adsorption, surfactant depletion, surfactant synergism and antagonism, and how the medium conditions (salt, temperature) alter them. The tools we develop can assist anyone who is involved in formulation of packages of surface-active species. Recently we also started work on adsorption kinetics.
(ii) Surface electric phenomena
We study the charging and polarization of surfaces, and the various surface potential; how are they affecting the surface forces; how to measure them; how to use the measurements to characterize the surface. We develop models that allow us to predict the effect of the salt and the solvent on the surface electric properties.
(iii) Capillary shapes, capillary flows, wetting
We are interested in relating the properties of an interface, such as its composition (see i), charge, dipole moment (see ii) to a range of capillary phenomena - wetting, film stability, emulsion and foam stability, Marangoni flows.
(iv) Chemical physics of mixtures, fuel chemistry
We also study how mixtures evaporate, how the mixture components interact, and how mixtures phase-separate and degrade; how are the electric properties of mixtures related to their composition and to their behaviour. We are particularly fascinated by non-polar but quadrupolar liquids, such as benzene and liquid carbon dioxide, and by their surfaces.