The ECIS-Rhodia Prize was first awarded in 2001. After Solvay acquired Rhodia, since 2014 the official name of the prize has became "Colloid & Interface Science Award, sponsored by Solvay"
This prize is granted to a European scientist for original scientific work of outstanding quality, described in one or several publications, patents or other documents made public in the previous five years. Hence, the prize is for recent work within the field of colloid and interface science.
All members of ECIS are invited each year to nominate candidates for the Solvay Prize. The completed nomination form should include both a justification (of no more than 1,000 words) and reprint(s) (in the form of a .PDF files) of the publication(s) or other documents on which the nomination is based.
The nominations are judged by a committee chaired by the ECIS President that includes also the ECIS Past President, the ECIS President-Elect, a Representative from the Solvay company and the Organiser of the annual ECIS Conference at which the prize is to be presented. The prize (3000 euros) will be presented by a Solvay Representative or the ECIS President at a session of the annual ECIS Conference, combined with a prize lecture (Plenary). The timetable is:
Each year, a short summary of the laureate and description of the contributions for which he or she has been nominated will appear on ECIS web site.
2016 Prof. Shlomo Magdassi (Jerusalem)
2015 Prof. Julian Eastoe (Bristol)
2014 Prof. Helmut Cölfen (Konstanz)
2013 Prof. Luis M. Liz-Marzán (San Sebastián)
2012 Prof. Werner Kunz (Regensburg)
2011 Prof. Bernard P. Binks (Hull)
2010 Prof. Gero Decher (Strasbourg)
2009 Prof. George S. Attard (Southampton)
2008 Prof. Gordon J. Tiddy (Manchester)
2007 Prof. Peter Schurtenberger (Fribourg)
2006 Prof. Alfons van Blaaderen (Utrecht)
2005 Prof. Peter Pusey (Edinburgh)
2004 Dr. Thomas Zemb (Saclay)
2003 Prof. Henk Lekkerkerker (Utrecht)
2002 Prof. Piero Baglioni (Firenze)
2001 Prof. Kare Larsson (Lund)
Shlomo Magdassi is professor of chemistry at the Casali Center for Applied Chemistry; the Institute of Chemistry, and the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. His research focuses on colloid science, and in particular on formation and applications of micro and nanomaterials. During the last five years, his main activities have been in the field of synthesizing nanoparticles and in functional formulations. Specifically, his research focuses on nanoparticles for delivery systems, and for functional printing.
In the field of delivery systems, he developed with his team processes for production of organic nanoparticles, to be used in drug delivery systems and cosmetics. For example, studying new microemulsions with volatile solvents as disperse phase lead to the development a new process for the formation of water insoluble drug nanoparticles with enhanced performance. This was demonstrated for a variety of drugs, including a Ti based complex and beta carotene. He also developed new self-emulsifying systems with natural antioxidants for treatment of neurological diseases and nanocarriers for biomedical imaging.
In the field of functional and 3D printing, Prof. Magdassi developed with his team unique inks composed of metals and carbon nanotubes, which can be used in printed electronics and 3D printing. He mainly focused on inks based on methods for obtaining highly concentrated silver nanoparticles or metal precursors. Besides synthesis of nanoparticles, he discovered novel mechanisms that enable sintering of nanoparticles at low temperature, which is important for applications in plastic electronics. This finding gives the possibility to print silver on plastics and paper, as conductive inks without the need of thermal sintering. In his research, Prof. Magdassi reached very significant scientific results in the field of colloid and interface science, as reflected in his publications in highly ranked journals, and was able to utilize his scientific achievements in unique industrial applications.
From left: Piotr Warszynski, Jean-Christophe Castaing, Shlomo Magdassi, and Debora Berti
Julian Eastoe: ECIS-Solvay Prize winner 2015
Julian Eastoe is professor of chemistry at the School of Chemistry, University of Bristol, UK. He has a high international reputation in the fields of colloid and interface science, where novel surfactants and polymers have been introduced, and in the applications of neutron scattering.
He is one of the pioneers in stabilizers for dispersions in low density and supercritical fluids like carbon dioxide, alkanes and fluoroalkanes. His group develops new surfactants for various applications, including molecular design, synthesis, NMR and mass spectroscopy. Recently he contributed to the advance in the field with two important developments:
A wide variety of techniques were employed to probe interfacial and self-assembly properties, to understand the underlying mechanisms, and to reveal the microstructures involved. For example, his group developed the technique of high-pressure small-angle neutron scattering (HP-SANS) at ISIS Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, which is an invaluable tool for investigating self-assembly systems in CO2.
He was the driving force behind initial characterization of micelles and microemulsions, and unstructured ternary solutions in solution chemistry. The basic understanding brought by their group and documented by 26 international papers goes back to thermodynamics, surface chemistry at colloidal and interfacial scale. Key advances have been made in green chemistry, nanotechnology, surface characterization and functionalization, as well as in fundamental aspects of surfactant science.
From left: Jean-Christophe Castaing and Julian Eastoe
Helmut Cölfen: ECIS-Solvay Prize winner 2014
Chemistry and ion speciation of calcium in aqueous solutions was supposed to be known, and tabulated in the chemistry books. The recent studies by Helmut Cölfen and co-workers from the University of Konstanz, Germany, showed that the accepted picture was incomplete. By using a meso-scale thermodynamic approach and different analytical methods, they demonstrated the existence of a domain where the most stable species containing calcium ions was a dynamic oligomer, somewhat like a chimera in between dynamic micelles and polyelectrolytes, really a new type of colloid in a free energy minimum that contains more than 10 and less than hundred ions. This discovery put the inorganic colloid chemistry upside down, and Helmut Cölfen's pioneering papers, most of them with his colleague Denis Gebauer, are since then used in hundreds of subsequent works, all around the world. This breakthrough unlocked a large number of so far unsolved problems in colloidal and interfacial chemistry. The practical useful realisations stemming from the discovery of generality of these aggregates are:
All these papers are stimulating rapid progresses in leading groups all over the world in the field of colloidal chemistry involving inorganic multivalent cations, including micelles and polyelectrolyte gels.
From left: Piotr Warszynski, Jean-Christophe Castaing, Helmut Cölfen, Debora Berti, Dganit Danino, Reinhard Miller
Luis M. Liz-Marzán: Rhodia Prize winner 2013
Luis M. Liz-Marzán got his doctoral title from the University of Santiago de Compostela (1992) and was postdoc at the Utrecht University, and more recently visiting professor at the Tohoku University; University of Michigan; University of Melbourne, and University of Hamburg, as well as at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces.
After holding a chair in Physical Chemistry at the University of Vigo, he is currently Ikerbasque Research Professor and Scientific Director of the Basque Centre of Cooperative Research in Biomaterials (CIC biomaGUNE), in San Sebastián.
Prof. Liz-Marzán serves as a Senior Editor of the ACS journal Langmuir since 2009 and is editorial advisory board member of several chemistry, nanotechnology and materials science journals. He has been President of the Division of Colloids and Interfaces of the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry (2009-2013). He is co-author of more than 320 publications and 5 patents, with a high citation rate (current h-index = 71) and has received several national and international research awards, including an ERC Advanced Grant (2011-2016). His current interests include nanoparticle synthesis and assembly, nanoplasmonics, and development of nanoparticle-based sensing and diagnostic tools.
Prof. Liz-Marzán has a longstanding record in synthesizing nanoparticles, in special, metallic ones. Beyond synthesis, he concentrated more and more on unusual shapes and arrangement and calculated also their outstanding optical properties. These are distinguished by extremely high local fields which then enabled him to achieve extreme sensitivity in analytical chemistry. The Rhodia prize was awarded to him for his recent achievements in the Raman detection of individual molecules. Thus, he could detect even misfolding or scrambling of prions. In addition, he showed that clever arrangement of nanoparticles can lead to extremely sensitive optical antennae.
Prof. Liz-Marzán has many collaborative projects throughout Europe and has just been appointed scientific director of a rather young institute in the Basque country. He is also engaged in many European projects, partly as leader, partly as provider of nanoparticles. His work there is a strong line to understand processes, mechanisms, local fields and forces and finally to make use of specific properties. He is a leader in nanoscience, which is also reflected in the many awards he has received.
From left: Reinhard Miller, Elena chemistry, Debora Berti, Luis Liz-Marzán, Piotr Warszynski, and Andrew Howe
Werner Kunz: Rhodia Prize winner 2012
Professor Werner Kunz opened a new experimental area at the interface between micellar solutions, ionic liquids and concentrated ionic solutions, by using new combinations of large anions and carefully chosen cations. To these he applied his understanding of colloid chemistry with that of hydrotropes, osmolytes and, most particularly, his profound knowledge of specific-ion effects to invent new substance classes that could be used in new commercial applications.
In recent years Werner designed a new family of non toxic surfactants/emulsifiers, based on choline as counterion to long-chain alkyl-carboxylates and -sulfates. The secret is that the natural (and even healthy) choline cation decreases the Krafft temperature so that even long-chain anionic surfactants are soluble in water at room temperature. This finding may open new perspectives for the use of triglycerides from European plants instead of (the environmentally) sensitive palm oil.
Werner also managed to make the first room temperature ionic liquids with sodium as simple cation. Another highlight is the combination of a simple (but carefully chosen) anionic surfactant with a standard cationic surfactant so that a true cat-anionic surfactant formulation is liquid at room temperature. This is the first cat-anionic surfactant room-temperature ionic liquid and it has several promising potential applications.
In the field of microemulsions, he was able to make low-toxicity systems and new ionic-liquid based microemulsions that are liquid and structured between -50 and +250 C. He has even emulsified efficiently bio-diesel via a colloidal approach and introduced this new system to the chemical engineering world for application.
One of the other remarkable achievements by Werner is the discovery of new methods of solubilizing of triglycerides in water with a minimum amount of surfactant and further additives. Here again, the formulation additives were carefully chosen based on his knowledge of hydrotropes and specific-ion effects. He edited in 2010 a reference book on "Specific Ion Effects" which summarises the state of the art in Hofmeister effects, from observation to modelling and usage in products based on colloid science. He is co-author, with Netz and Jungwirth, of the quantitative theory of "matching affinities". This is a generalization of the simple chaotrope/cosmotrope standard views including dispersion effects. The theory of matching affinities is currently the only one able to provide parameter-free predictions for local inversions of the Hofmeister series.
All this recently published work - most of it in high impact journals - will have a large impact not only in the scientific community, but also in industry and particularly novel environmentally friendly applications. In fact, most of Werner's work is sponsored by industry and many of his inventions led to new and improved products, especially in the field of cosmetics and household products that are already on the market.
The self-assembled functional molecular systems he discovered in the last five years are elegant knowledge-based colloidal systems designed by an artful combination of thermodynamics with ion-specificity and surfactant science make him the laureate for the 2012 ECIS-Rhodia prize.
From left: Reinhard Miller, Debora Berti, Werner Kunz
Bernie Binks: Rhodia Prize winner 2011
Professor B. P. (Bernie) Binks of the University of Hull has worked on fluid-fluid interfaces, emulsions, microemulsions and foams throughout his career, covering a very wide range of territory and producing an impressive body of accessible work of lasting value. His early work concerned surfactant-stabilised systems in the main and then, about a decade ago, he turned his attention to particles at interfaces and particle-stabilized systems. It is for his work in this latter area that the award has been made, his excellent and important work on surfactants and surfactant-stabilised systems not withstanding.
Even though the first scientific papers on particle-stabilised emulsions (Ramsden - Pickering emulsions) appeared a century ago, these systems were then largely neglected by academe thereafter, whereas industry saw them as a problem by and large, as it did particle stabilized foams. All that has changed of late. Particles-at-interfaces is now an important and rapidly growing area of soft matter science and particle-stabilised emulsions and foams now find application in areas as diverse as cosmetics and metallurgy. Professor Binks can take much of the credit for this upsurge of interest and he remains at the forefront of the subject, as can be judged from the following recent papers,
1. Phase inversion of particle-stabilised perfume oil-water emulsions: experiment and theory, Binks, BP; Fletcher, PDI; Holt, BL; et al., Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics Volume: 12 Issue: 38 Pages: 11954-11966 (2010).
2. Inversion of 'dry water' to aqueous foam on addition of surfactant, Binks, BP; Johnson, AJ; Rodrigues, JA, Soft Matter Volume: 6 Issue: 1 Pages: 126-135 (2010).
3. Aqueous foams stabilized solely by particles, Stocco, A; Rio, E; Binks, BP; et al., Soft Matter Volume: 7 Issue: 4 Pages: 1260-1267 (2011).
4. Phase inversion of particle-stabilized materials from foams to dry water, Binks, BP; Murakami, R., Nature Materials Volume: 5 Issue: 11 Pages: 865-869 (2006).
In the first paper listed above, Binks et al. exploited the chemical diversity of a subset of common fragrance oils in order to study systematically the effect of oil polarity on emulsion stability and phase inversion. The experimental work is of very high quality, as one has come to expect from Hull, and the team were able to develop a thermodynamic model which explains and rationalises the data entirely. The work advances our fundamental understanding of Ramsden-Pickering emulsions and it provides clear messages and teachings of technological significance also. Anyone wishing to improve the impact and clarity of their presentation of their work could do worse than read paper one for that reason alone. The fourth paper on "Dry Water", a seemingly dry powder of very high water content, attracted substantial attention from the scientific and public media when it first appeared. The second and third papers describe subsequent related investigations.
For those wishing to find out more, a comprehensive list of papers can be found at Prof. Binks web-site. There is also book on particles at interfaces, published in 2006 and co-edited with Tommy Horozov, is available from CUP.
Gero Decher, Professor at the University of Strasbourg is well-known as inventor of the Layer-by-Layer deposition technique, which has been adopted in a large number of laboratories around the globe. In recent years Gero Decher has successfully applied the approach to several issues in life sciences. Thus Gero Decher invented a thin layers deposit method for bio-functional nanomaterials based on electrostatic intermolecular interactions. This original material assembly method is inexpensive and almost non-polluting. In practice this gave rise to applications such diverse as in anticoagulants coatings with anchored heparin on medical devices such as catheters, hydrophobic coating improving vision lenses biocompatibility and tissue engineering in general.
The specific papers cited in support of the nomination are:
Hierarchical functional gradients of pH-responsive self-assembled monolayers using dynamic covalent chemistry on surfaces. L. Tauk, A. P. Schroder, G. Decher and N. Giuseppone, Nature Chemistry 1 , 649 (2009).
From "Nano-bags" to "Micro-pouches". Understanding and Tweaking Flocculation-based Processes for the Preparation of New Nanoparticle-Composites. G. F. Schneider and G. Decher, Nano Letters 8, 3598-3604 (2008).
Micro-stratified architectures based on successive stacking of alginate gel layers and poly(L-lysine)-hyaluronic acid multilayer films aimed at tissue engineering. Hajare Mjahed, C. Porcel, B. Senger, A. Chassepot, P. Netter, P. Gillet, G. Decher, J.-C. Voegel, P. Schaaf, N. Benkirane-Jesselab and F. Boulmedaise, Soft Matter 4, 1422-1429 (2008).
Step-by-Step Build-Up of Biologically Active Cell-Containing Stratified Films Aimed at Tissue Engineering. L. Grossin, D. Cortial, B. Saulnier, O. Felix, A. Chassepot, G. Decher, P. Netter, P. Schaaf, P. Gillet, D. Mainard, J.-C. Voegel, and N. Benkirane-Jessel Advanced Materials 21, 650-655 (2009).
Multifunctional Cytotoxic Stealth Nanoparticles. A Model Approach with Potential for Cancer Therapy. G. F. Schneider, V. Subr, K. Ulbrich, and G. Decher, Nano Letters 9, 636-642 (2009).
George Attard: Rhodia Prize winner 2009
Professor George S Attard from University of Southhampton has worked in quite diverse in that they span the traditional disciplines of physical chemistry/chemical physics, materials science, biochemistry and immunology. He and co-workers discovered the rich variety of liquid crystal phases formed by lyotropic liquid crystals provides a range of templates for the synthesis of oxide ceramics and metals with well-defined periodic porous architectures at the nanometre level. This resulted in a number of publications in Nature, Science and Angewandte Chemie. Later in his career Prof. Attard moved into Biophysics and Synthetic Biology where his research on biologically active materials is based in part on the recognition that when amphiphiles insert into biological membranes they have profound effects on the curvature elastic stress of these membranes.
The implication of his work is that physical feedback signals that are based on the membrane elastic properties could represent a generic class of control mechanisms in metabolic and signalling pathways. During his scientific career he has shown that he is a bold and innovative researcher, which is never afraid of enter into unknown territory and at the same time maintaining excellence when it comes to the quality of his work.
From left: Peter Schurtenberger, George Attard, Maria Miguel, Andrew Howe
Gordon Tiddy: Rhodia Prize winner 2008
Professor G J Tiddy from Manchester University was nominated by his discoveries of gel, sub-gel, metastable gel and molten chain phases for nonionic as well as for cationic surfactants. In this whole field certain knowledge in binary phase diagrams is due to him, with papers still appearing in the last three years. Industry made a fortune out of this, since the knowledge of how to distinguish and promote/remove one of these phases has allowed to replace toxic cationic compounds from formulation of softeners. So this is clearly new colloid science, which leads to everyday applications. Gordon Tiddy has also quite valuable and novel contributions on determination of phase diagrams of sponge phases and measurement of hydration forces.
For this outstanding contribution Gordon J. Tiddy was awarded the Rhodia Prize 2008.
For health reasons, Prof. G J Tiddy could not participate at the ECIS 2008 conference. Professor Tiddy gave a wonderful lecture at the 2009 ECIS Conference in Antalya, after which the prize was presented.
Peter Schurtenberger: Rhodia Prize winner 2007
In recent years it has been realized in Soft Condensed Matter physics that the interaction between colloidal particles can be controlled and manipulated to give clusters leading to glass and gel formation and viscoelastic phase separation. Peter Schurtenberger has shown by a combination of scattering experiments and rheological measurements that these concepts developed in soft matter physics using model colloidal particles are also highly relevant for the understanding of the behaviour of practical systems ranging from protein solutions1 to clay suspensions2. This transfer of concepts from model systems to real systems was done by Peter Schurtenberger using highly quality experiments and great physical insight.
For this outstanding contribution Peter Schurtenberger was awarded the Rhodia Prize 2007.
1 Anna Stradner, Helen Sedgwick, Frederic Cardinaux, Wilson C. K. Poon, Stefan U. Egelhaaf & Peter Schurtenberger, Equilibrium cluster formation in concentrated protein solutions and colloids, Nature 432 (2004) 492
Alfons van Blaaderen: Rhodia Prize winner 2006
Professor Van Blaaderen studied
Chemistry and Physics at Utrecht University, gaining his PhD (in the area of synthesis and model studies of
colloidal silica particles) in1992 under Professor A. Vrij. For this work he
was awarded the DSM prize for best Dutch Chemistry Thesis. He then worked as
a Post-Doctoral researcher at Bell Laboratories with C. A. Murray and P. Wiltzius.
He became full Professor of Physics at
His recent work has focused on synthesis of model colloids, and the study of their equilibrium and non-equilibrium states, as well as particle assemblies in the presence of external fields.
Over the last several years he has initiated the study of, or greatly developed the field of, many aspects the structure and dynamics of colloidal systems. For example, he obtained the first three-dimensional particle co-ordinates (and thereby structures) of particle colloid glasses and other states, and has continued to develop these techniques to image a rich new variety of ordered phases. In itself his development of the use of confocal microscopy for this application has subsequently spawned many works in the field of colloidal and materials science, and is now a vibrant and important field of colloidal Physics and Chemistry. In his recent works he has pioneered the study of binary ionic colloidal crystals, leading to the observation of remarkable and striking new ordered structures, several of which have not been observed before in Nature.
Professor Van Blaaderen has been a leading proponent of the use of external fields (including electrical, light, shear) to guide self-organization of colloidal particle systems, and though still in its infancy, this approach promises to be a rich area of study for applications of colloids to advanced and functional materials science.
In one of the most elegant examples (published in 2005) of this recent work he has shown how to tune the interactions between PMMA particles from hard to very soft repulsion, as well as dipolar interactions, leading to both new crystal phases, as well as (for example in the use of electrical fields) new ways of inducing the transitions between them.
Professor Van Blaaderen is one of the leading examples of the new generation of Colloidal Scientists, internationally renowned for his research and expositions. It is the great pleasure of the European Colloidal and Interface Society to award him the Rhodia Prize for 2006.
Peter Pusey: Rhodia Prize winner 2005
ECIS President Martien Cohen Stuart handing over the Rhodia Prize 2005 to Peter Pusey
Peter Pusey graduated with a degree in Physics from Cambridge University in 1964.
During his Ph D work in Pittsburgh University he made some of the first photon correlation measurements. This was a technique that was to become the principal means to measure correlations in dynamical light scattering, and thereby determine the motion of particles in suspensions from which the light was scattered. It has become the standard method by which particles are characterized, and their motion studied, in both academia and industrial laboratories. He was awarded the degree in 1969.
From there he went to IBM laboratories in Yorktown Heights and during the years (1969-1972) began to pioneer the application of these light scattering techniques to virus particles (conveniently monodisperse biological systems), to understand Brownian motion of particles that interact with each other. Returning to the United Kingdom he began working in the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment in 1972, and during the next 19 years was one of several international scientific leaders that developed the techniques of, and particulate systems appropriate for study by dynamical light scattering. Thus,in 1974 Brian Vincent invited Peter Pusey to Bristol for a seminar, and there he met Ron Ottewill and discussed the synthesis of highly monodisperse model particle systems that could be studied by dynamic light scattering. Whilst these were charged, and therefore quite dilute, they were sufficiently simple systems that they assisted in the development in the technique of dynamic light scattering, and the underlying conceptual and quantitative treatment of Brownian motion of interacting particles.
Shortly after, Peter Pusey realised that the hard sphere dense colloidal suspensions were a much richer system to study. By 1986 he had (in collaboration with Bill van Megen) developed and published a rather complete phase diagram of that system, including the first experimental observation of an apparent dynamical arrest (so-called “glass”) transition at particle densities of 0.58. This paper, published in Nature in 1986 now has 500 citations, and was seminal in framing the concept of a colloidal glass. That work was carried on by Bill van Megan and is now a classical reference system in physical science of particulate systems.
During this period Peter Pusey pioneered the underlying concepts to study non-ergodic systems (here, time and ensemble averages are not equivalent). In so doing he developed methods for averaging the results in dynamical light scattering.
In 1991 Peter Pusey was appointed to the Chair of Physics in Edinburgh University where he remains until now.
Starting from earlier work of Brain Vincent, Bill Russell on hard sphere fluids with added polymer, Peter Pusey (in collaboration with Henck Lekkerkerker and his colleagues in Edinburgh) started to explore in a detailed quantitative manner, the phase- structure and dynamics of this model system. This was to become the canonical model of systems with hard core potential and short-ranged attractions.
The nature of the phase-diagram, its dependence with range of potential, and its “arrested” or glassy states were clarified in this work. In foundation work published in Science in 2002 (for which the Rhodia prize is now awarded) he clearly identified for the first time the presence of re-entrance in the fluid-glass transition curve at high volume fractions, and in this and subsequent work established the existence of an attractive and repulsive glass.
This has had a number of profound impacts.
Firstly, it helped develop the whole concept of dynamically slowed, and dynamically arrested particulate systems into a field of study, rather than an isolated example.
By its close comparison with theoretical research it stimulated again a re-examination of the whole theoretical framework of the glass transition, a process that has continued and enlarged over the last few years.
It helped stimulate thinking on new concepts of engineered materials, created by dynamical arrest (glass-like) transitions of colloidal and nano-particules.
The European Colloids and Interface Society has great pleasure in awarding the Rhodia Prize to Peter Pusey for outstanding contributions in the experimental study of dynamically arrested (glassy) particulate matter, especially in relation to hard sphere fluids with added polymer.
Thomas Zemb: Rhodia Prize winner 2004
Thomas Zemb (1953) received a first degree in nuclear engineering from the ETH in Zurich in 1973. He then moved to Paris to work at the Institut Curie where he defended a PhD thesis in 1976 on 'Solvent Effects on Fluorescence of DNA Bases". In 1985 he acquired the (now extinct) degree of 'Docteur des Sciences' for work on the structure of micelles investigated by means of a range of scattering techniques. His expertise in scattering brought him to Canberra (Australia) where he devoted himself to the construction of the National SAXS instrument (1985-1987). Since 1992 he is permanently attached to the CEA in Saclay as head of the Colloid Group of the DRECAM/SCM institute, and since 1997 as full professor at the Institut Nationale des Sciences Nucleaires, at the same place.
The work on catanionic systems took off in the late nineties and culminated in the discovery of beautifully structured colloidal objects. Zemb and his team have cleverly analysed these new structures and explained how various interactions conspire to produce them.
The work is a beautiful example of how to complex nanostructures in a systematic way from elaborate studies of phase diagrams taking into account basic principles of colloid science.
Prof. Thomas Zemb gave the ECIS 2004 Rhodia Lecture entitled "How Coulomb and Boltzmann create new micro-crystalline solids"
The Figure represents the spontaneously formed facetted ionic organic solid in the absence of salt. Typical size: 1 micron, typical thickness: 5 nm, seen by freeze fracture electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and supramolecular modelling (from left to right) Th. Zemb, M. Dubois, B. Deme, Th. Gulik-Krzywicki, Science 283 (1999) 816
M. Dubois, B. Deme, Th. Gulik-Krzywicki, J.-C. Dedieu, C. Vautrin, S. Desert, E. Perez, Th. Zemb, Nature 411 (2001) 672
Henk Lekkerkerker: Rhodia Prize winner 2003
The Rhodia award of ECIS for the year 2003
is donated to Prof. Henk Lekkerkerker from the Debye Research Institute of the
Utrecht University for his pioneering work on ordering of colloids.
Prof. Lekkerkerker received his Ph.D. in 1971 from the University of Calgary for his thesis "A Theoretical Study of Light Scattered from Chemically Reactive Systems". He then returned to Europe started an academic career in Belgium and in 1974 became professor of Theoretical Physical Chemistry at the Free University Brussels. From there he moved in 1985 to Utrecht University, back to the roots where his studies had begun. There he is professor of physical chemistry, has served as director of the Debye institute, as vice dean and is now dean of chemistry. He has received many honours, and invited lectureships and is also member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences.
The work of Prod. Lekkerkerker concerns the ordering of hard particles, a subject that has previously fascinated many physicists as models to understand crystalline ordering and is now receiving tremendous and attention in view of application perspectives of photonic crystals. The work reveals the importance of entropic interactions at many length scales, i. e. translational and rotational degrees of freedom of anisotropic particles as well as internal degrees of freedom of polymers. This has led to a very deep understanding of ordering phenomena such as phase diagrams, control of phases and properties. Recent advances highlighted in a Nature Review (416(2002) 811) concern the kinetics of ordering.
The work of Prof. Lekkerkerker is distingguished by a most original combination of Theoretical Chemistry and Physics, Inorganic and Organic Surface Chemistry to prepare particles with defined characteristics, and Physical Chemistry to characterize the systems. This has tremendously advanced colloid science bridging new fundemental science and exciting applications. The ECIS is proud to have this prominent scientist, who also has served as its president 10 years ago, as one of its leading figures with strong engagement in European collaboration.
K. Larsson, P. Baglioni, H. Lekkerkerker
K. Larsson, P. Baglioni, L. Vovelle, H. Lekkerkerker
K. Larsson, P. Baglioni, H. Lekkerkerker
K. Larsson, P. Baglioni, H. Lekkerkerker, L. Vovelle
This year 2002, the prize is given to Prof.
Piero Baglioni, Professor at the University of Florence and founding professor
of the CSGI, the Italian center for the study and use of colloids and surfactants.
He has produced several innovations in the filed of organic as well
as inorganic colloids He has studied the effect when they are added to colloidal
and micellar solutions, and compete with the hydrophobic interface, therefore
disturbing the counter-ion cloud and modifying the colloidal stability. He
has shown correlations with Hofmeister series, another well studied example
where DLVO fails. Using his skills as chemist, he has found a way to
increase the metastable regime of nanoparticles of calcium carbonate. This
basic research has direct application in restoration of fresqua, where controlling
the competing anions carbonate and sulfate around nanometric natural colloids
is the big challenge for colloid chemistry, that he was able to tackle with
The 2002 European Rhodia prize for colloids and interfaces has been attributed to Piero Baglioni for his pioneering work of efficient synthesis of a new type of surfactants : short chain nucleosides. Association of hydrophobic chains with polar head groups containing nucleosides brings together the two worlds of biomimetism in molecular systems and recognition processes like in DNA and RNA. Thus, engineered distributions of p-p interactions and hydrogen binding produces helixes, fibers and stacks are combined with the amphiphilic behavior inducing droplet micelles, wormlike micelles, microemulsions and lyotropic liquid crystals. With his colleague Deborah Berti and team, he has experimentally proven on samples synthesized using new and efficient routes, that molecular recognition and micellar formation coexist in the same systems. This complete realization, from design to synthesis to the active recognizing self-assembled system, is the realization for which the European colloid prize has been attributed for the second year of existence.
Electron micrograph of surfactants including DNA-bases in head-groups. Recognition between heads induced H-bonding as well as pi-stacking, the molecular motor driving towards formation of helicoidal micelles.
Kåre Larsson: Rhodia Prize winner 2001
This year 2001, the prize is given to Prof. Kåre Larsson, from Lund University and Camurus Lipid Research Foundation for the discovery of cubosomes and hexosomes and explorative work on their applications. Kåre Larsson started his research as X-ray crystallographer at Göteborg university, and in his thesis 1964 the first crystal structures of fatty acid mono-, di and triglycerides were reported. He then went to work for two months as a post-doctoral fellow in the group of V. Luzzatti in Gif sur Yvette in order to learn their X-ray methods. Back in Sweden he extended the crystal structure work on lipids to involve liquid-crystalline phases of lipid-water systems.
In 1995, 1996 and 1997, a now classical series of papers explaining how finely divided micronic aggregates are formed were published. Such aggregates are composed of a liquid crystal (cubic or hexagonal ) which is stabilised either by electrostatics or by a multilayer ( Z Kristallogr. 1995, 210 p. 315; Langmuir 1996 12 p.4611 and Langmuir 1997 13 p.6914) . An electron microscopy of an individual cubosome is shown on the picture below.
Stable micronic dispersions can be obtained with moderate milling energy and are stable for months. The unit cell distance in the cubosome is about 20 nm, and the aggregate is around one micron. These dispersions are able to solubilise antibiotics or other pharmaceutical agents. Hence, gels for dental care could be formulated. These are injected between teeth and gingival, adhesion and viscosity are such that an ultra-slow release of antibiotics is obtained. A very successful new method in dental care.
This success story of stable emulsions of lyotropic liquid crystals requires basic knowledge of phase diagrams, cubic structure, general concepts in curvature of soft condensed material, together with extraordinary patience in characterisation in formulation. The cubosome/hexosome discovery, understanding and use is an exemplary study how modern colloid science integrate basic research and application.