Université de Strasbourg

Cosima Stubenrauch


Institute of Physical Chemistry, University of Stuttgart, Germany & USIAS Fellow at the Charles Sadron Institute (ICS), University of Strasbourg

Cosima Stubenrauch, USIAS Fellow 2018

Professeur Cosima Stubenrauch studied chemistry in Münster and Freiburg and received her PhD in Physical Chemistry (with Professor Gerhard Findenegg) at the Technical University of Berlin, Germany in 1997. After a postdoctoral year at the Paris Sud University - Paris 11 in the group of Professor Dominique Langevin, she worked at Cologne University from 1999 to 2004, where she finished her Habilitation in the group of Professor Reinhard Strey. From 2005 to 2009 she worked at University College Dublin, Ireland as Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Assistant Professor. Since 2009 she has been Full Professor at Stuttgart University, Germany. Furthermore, she has been Dean of the Faculty Chemistry since 2014 and, since 2010, docent at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm (Sweden).

Cosima Stubenrauch received nine national and three international awards, the most recent one being the Distinguished Paper Award of the American Chemical Society and the most prestigious one being the Nernst-Haber-Bodenstein Prize of the German Bunsen Society for Physical Chemistry (DBG). She has published 156 articles in international peer reviewed journals, filed one patent and edited one book. All in all she has given 164 oral presentations, 139 of which were invited presentations. She supervised ten post-docs, 22 PhDs, 21 graduate students, seven master students, and 13 BSc students. Her fundraising exceeds 7 m€. Last, but not least, she co-ordinated a Marie Curie Research Training Network from 2005-2008 with a total budget of over 3 m€. Her main research activities are  liquid foam films and foams, monodisperse solid foams, gelled complex fluids, microemulsions, and  lyotropic liquid crystals.

Project - Interactions in thin liquid films: towards non-aqueous foams, emulsions & dispersions

November 2018 - June 2020

Dispersed systems such as foams, emulsions and solid dispersions consist of a discrete phase (gas, liquid, or solid) which is dispersed in a continuous liquid phase. They are widely used in industrial applications and everyday products, e.g. in household and personal care products, in pharmacy, food, paint or firefighting. They are also used as templates for the synthesis of porous materials. In some cases, however, they emerge as a nuisance and need to be avoided. Consequently, specific control over their stability is indispensable! Surprisingly, and despite 35 years of research, the reason for their stability - or instability - is not yet understood in detail. This is particularly true for non-aqueous systems! What we do know, however, is the fact that the stability of a dispersed system is directly related to the stability of the thin liquid film separating the bubbles (foams), the droplets (emulsions), or the particles (solid dispersions). This project thus aims at studying these thin liquid films with various techniques to learn more about the macroscopic counterparts.

The stabilisation of non-aqueous foams, emulsions or dispersions is a poorly developed field despite its relevance for a wide range of applications, for example non-aqueous emulsions in cosmetics, non-aqueous foams in food science, or non-aqueous polymer foams in material science. Since the stability of thin liquid films separating bubbles, droplets or particles is crucial for the stability of the dispersed system we will investigate for the first time the interactions in non-aqueous thin liquid films stabilised by model surfactants or amphiphilic block-copolymers and compare our results with those obtained for the corresponding aqueous systems. For this purpose, we will combine three different techniques: the Thin Film Pressure Balance (TFPB) for foam films, the Liquid Surface Force Apparatus (LSFA) for emulsion films, and the Surface Force Apparatus (SFA) for films between solid surfaces. Note that up until now almost all investigations have been carried out with aqueous systems and no systematic comparison exists between the different film types. For this project Cosima Stubenrauch will, partly during a sabbatical visit, collaborate with Dr. Wiebke Drenckhan and Dr. Patrick Kékicheff to unite the different expertise available at the Charles Sadron Institute (ICS) and to fill this scientific gap.

Investissements d'Avenir