Professor Dirk G.A.L Aarts

Professor of Chemistry


MSc, PhD (Utrecht)

Academic Background

MSc (Cum Laude; Utrecht University, 1996-2001), VNCI Scholarship (Association of the Dutch Chemical Industry, 1997, 1998), Unilever Research Prize 2001 for MSc thesis
PhD (Cum Laude; Utrecht University, 2001-2005), DSM award for Chemistry and Technology (2005), the PUG prize (Provincial Fellowship of Utrecht, 2006), the Andries Miedema Prize (2007)
Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship at the Laboratoire de Physique Statistique of the Ecole Normale Supérieure (2005-2006)

Undergraduate Teaching

Tutor in Physical Chemistry

Research Interests

Interfaces are ubiquitous in nature and have attracted the interest of scientists since many centuries. Besides a fundamental drive much research in interfaces is motivated by technology and industry, where understanding interfacial behaviour is of key importance. We aim at a better understanding of interfaces by studying colloidal interfaces. Recent developments in colloid science, which include new chemical synthesis techniques that allow exquisite control over the size, shape and interaction of particles and new physical measurement techniques such as confocal microscopy and laser tweezers, have opened up a host of exciting opportunities to study interfaces with unprecedented accuracy and control. In particular, we combine the above techniques with microfluidics, where fluids can be manipulated on a microscopic scale, and length- and timescales are most compatible with colloidal interfaces.

Publications include

A. L. Thorneywork, J.L. Abbott, D.G.A.L. Aarts, and R.P.A. Dullens, Two-Dimensional Melting of Colloidal Hard Spheres, Phys. Rev. Lett. 118, 158001 (2017)

C. Rascón, A.O. Parry, and D.G.A.L. Aarts, Geometry-induced capillary emptying, PNAS 113, 12633 (2016)

I.C. Garlea, P. Mulder, J. Alvarado, O. Dammone, D.G.A.L. Aarts, M.P.Lettinga, G.H. Koenderink, B.M. Mulder, Finite particle size drives defect-mediated domain structures in strongly confined colloidal liquid crystals, Nat. Comm. 7, 12112 (2016)

Y. Gao, A.K. Balin, R.P.A. Dullens, J.M. Yeomans, and D.G.A.L. Aarts, Thermal Analog of Gimbal Lock in a Colloidal Ferromagnetic Janus Rod, Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 248301 (2015)

S.A. Setu, R.P.A. Dullens, A. Hernandez-Machado, I. Pagonabarraga, D.G.A.L. Aarts, and R. Ledesma-Aguilar, Superconfinement tailors fluid flow at microscales, Nat. Comm. 6, 7297 (2015)