Technical and chemical support

Our scientists are supported by high-calibre experts optical and mechanical engineering enabling us to push forward with adventurous research.

Optomechanical Support

To support the build of new experiments and the development of prototype instruments we have experts in optical and mechanical design. Most recently a 'bolt-on rheoimaging module' was designed for standard rheometers from TA Instruments.

Particle production

Our in-house chemist produces model colloid systems with hard-sphere interactions for the international soft matter community.  We often employ these to build experimental models of industrial formulations to develop an understanding of the contribution of other additives on inter-particle interactions and product performance.

At ECFP we make model PMMA (poly (methyl methacrylate)) particles with hard sphere interactions (sterically stabilised) in organic solvents. Particles can be fluorescently dyed if required and radii range from 40 nanometres to 2 microns. Aqueous PMMA particles are also available and these can be either charge or sterically stabilized. Again these can be dyed if required.


  • Hard-sphere particles in decalin: 10ml of 30%w/w solid £150, 150ml of 30%w/w solid £1500.

  • In water: 10ml of 30%w/w solid £125, 150ml of 30%w/w solid 1250

Additionally, we can modify the chemistry of surfaces and have the expertise to make a range of novel particles such as magnetic particles, rod-shaped particles, core-shell particles, Janus particles and even motile colloids!   Please get in touch if you would like a more unusual type of particle.