oft materials are composed of « particles » that are significantly larger than an atom but much smaller than the overall dimensions of the sample. Soft matter easily deforms when submitted to low mechanical constraints while particles could be made of harder matterials. Many other properties are also caused by the particles : soft matter is indeed dissipative, disordered, far from equilibrium, nonlinear, thermal and entropic, slow, observable, gravity affected, patterned, nonlocal, interfacially elastic, memory forming, and active.
The GRASP projects are dedicated to the study of nano particles, suspensions, monolayers, biosensors, self-assembling systems, powders, colloids, granular systems, droplets, antibubbles, microfluidics, soap films, emulsions, foams, complex fluids, active matter, rheology, chaos and non-linear phenomena. Research projects are funded by regional, national and european agencies. Some funded projects are :
The GRASP has created the APTIS structure which has the equipment for characterizing granular systems and powders (granulometer, microscopy, flow index, cohesion index). The group owns also a lab dedicated to liquid characterizations such as rheometer, viscosimeters, droplet goniometer (surface tension), Langmuir films, etc. Micro fabrication (FabLab-like) and soft lithography is available for students and researchers. A cluster of many computers has been developed for numerical simulations. The labs are equipped with fast video recorders and electromagnetic shakers.
The GRASP lab has also created a spin-off called Granutools which provides high tech instruments. This small company is now developping a complete set of instruments for measuring powder rheology.
About 25 scientists are working in the GRASP, which is organized into sub-units focussing on selected topics :
- Optofluidics : Prof. H.Caps
- Non-linear Physics : Dr. S.Dorbolo
- Biophotonics : Prof L.Dreesen
- Mesoscale Soft Matter : Prof. G.Lumay
- Simulations of Soft Materials : Dr. E.Opsomer
- Statistical Physics : Prof. N.Vandewalle