Alfons van Blaaderen

Professor of Soft condensed matter
Utrecht University

Within ARC CBBC, I wish to accomplish…

When I did my postdoc research at AT&T Bell Labs. I learned that it can be a very strong motivator and provider of positive feedback when fundamental knowledge can be utilized directly, by those who recently obtained it, to try to resolve much more applied problems. Recently, our group was given the opportunity to apply our fundamental know how on making and designing colloidal model systems and how to guide their self-assembly by external fields in the field of heterogeneous catalysis through membership of the NWO Gravity center for Multiscale Catalytic Energy Conversions. We hope to further contribute this knowledge base to topics of interest to the CBBC consortium.

In my scientific career, I am most proud of…

I am most proud of the fact that our group has pioneered the quantitative real-space analysis of colloidal processes and structure s on the single particles level using fluorescent core-shell particles, developed by us with confocal microscopy. Recently, we were able to extend this methodology to rod-like colloidal particles and more complex colloids will follow. In addition, using transmission microscopy tomography quantitative analysis of self-assembled nanoparticles , including those with a rod-like shape, has become possible as well. It is very exciting that soon the quantitative 3D-analysis can be extended all the way down to the atom scale as well.

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