Our R&D expertise includes:

  • Small-scale fluid dynamics, surface tension and fluid-structure interaction, including elastocapillarity
  • Microfluidics and lab-on-chips (LOC), especially droplet microfluidics and capillary microfluidics
  • Biomimetics (mechanical design)
  • Experimental quantification and mathematical modeling of dynamical systems

Through our research projects we have developed additional expertise in:

1. Imaging (high-speed, light microscopy) and image processing

  • High-speed cameras (several thousands of frames per second at full resolution, color or B&W)
  • Fully equipped for autonomous outdoor filming
  • Light microscopy + fluorescence
  • Automated measurements on images – image processing techniques

2. Soft microfabrication

  • Molding techniques (incl. epoxy, PDMS – 1µm resolution)
  • Thin film deposition (evaporation and spin coating – up to 8000rpm, 4″ wafers max)
  • UV exposure (power 100W, chamber (180mm)³ )
  • Corona treatment
  • Micromilling (resolution 7µm, working area 400 x 320 x 110 mm³)

Access to clean room environment and lithography (Microsys):

  • 200m² certified class 10.000 (ISO7), fully ESD-equipped; small yellow room
  • Photoplotter (Bungard Filmstar): to print opaque masks on transparent films. Resolution ~30 µm
  • Spin coater (Laurell WS-650-Mz-23NPP): Up to 12000 rpm. Substrate size up to 6″ (round) or 5″x5″ (square). Dispensing unit.
  • UV lamp 100W, filters (incl. 320-500nm and 365nm)
  • Plasma cleaner (Air, Nitrogen, Argon)

3. Microfluidic fluid dispensing

  • Microfluidic chip design and interfacing
  • Programmable syringe pumps NE-1002X (from 8pL/hr to 40µL/s)
  • Programmable pressure controllers and valves Fluigent MFCS-EZ – 4x 1000 mbar
  • 8-valve manifold Festo MH1 24VDC controlled with Labview

4. Splash column, for the investigation of droplet impacts

  • Release point between 50cm and 5m above the ground (impact velocity up to 7 m/s)
  • Dispensing unit (syringe pump) and visual control of the release
  • Free fall protected from parasitic air currents
  • Maximum diameter of the falling object: 10cm

5. Electromagnetic shaker

  • SignalForce GW-V400LT (up to 4.6kN sinusoidal, armature diameter 33.3cm)
  • Accelerometers, DAQ and Labview control