Recently I attended the 86th ACS Colloids and Surface Science Symposium at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, where I presented a talk on our recent work examining the electrokinetic properties of thin charge-carrying films. I discussed our method of film fabrication, chemical and physical characterization of the films, as well as our custom-built electrokinetic analysis device and results that we collected with our device.
These surfaces occur in a variety of natural (e.g., cartilage) and industrial (e.g., fuel cells) systems, and physicochemical models of these systems are necessary to inform engineering decisions regarding design and optimization. Our particular interests are investigations of well-understood chemical systems to test and inform current and proposed electrokinetic models of diffuse charge interfaces.
The current study explores interfaces which are non-rigid and contain charge distributed over a fluid-permeable volume, in contrast to our previous studies on silica and hydrophobic microfluidic substrates, both of which exhibit rigid charge-carrying surfaces in contact with liquid. Fluid permeable diffuse-charge interfaces introduce interesting physics involving the charging and permeability of the film layer. We hope to describe these processes in greater detail in future communications.