This work group focuses on phenomena at stakes when fluids are manipulated at small scales which is obviously commonly encountered in many industrial processes. The research interests comprise the physics of drops and jets, the properties of interfaces stabilized or not by mean of capillary adsorbed particles, various liquid encapsulation processes as well as printing/coating especially for pharmaceutical applications.
The research group has been developing a strong expertise in both the experimental studies and the analytical modeling of drop formation and of drop evolution while subjected to impacts or collisions. One of the main objectives of the research is to predict the outcomes of such impacts and collisions in terms of possible regimes such as fragmentation, coalescence, encapsulation or deposition. The transitions between the different outcomes are modeled - often in the form of scaling laws - based on a physical understand of the phenomenon at play. Driven by innovative applications such as advance-fiber production or in air-microfluidic, the group aims to develop the basis of droplets (and droplet streams) embedment into continuous liquid jets.
Further to classical liquid-liquid and liquid-gas interfaces, interfaces stabilized by capillary adsorbed particles are actively studied. Pioneer work is carried out on the properties of flat interfaces and drops coated by micro-particles - also called armored interfaces and liquid marbles, respectively. Of special interest are the mechanical responses of these interfaces and capsules when subjected to different forcings such as quasi-static compression, oscillatory shaking or capillary waves as well as impacts on liquid baths, smooth or textured surfaces. The interface robustness, critical to many industrial processes, is studied accounting not only for the averaged properties of the particles but for the properties of the individual particles as well as for the rheological properties of the fluid they cover.
Another important field of research lies in the challenges encountered in pharmaceutical application dealing with droplets and/or complex fluids. It comprises for example the development of printing medicine, the drying of isolated droplet or liquid films to produce particle or thin layers and the understanding of self-emulsification processes to enhance the bio-availability of poorly water soluble actives.