Olli-Ville Laukkanen

Rheology is the study of the deformation and flow of matter. Rheological measurement techniques are widely employed in different fields of materials science to characterize the time-dependent mechanical properties of e.g. polymers, biomaterials, food and construction materials. My current research focuses on the rheological behavior of microgels at oil/water and air/water interfaces. Microgels are cross-linked macromolecular networks that are swollen by the solvent in which they are dissolved and that have a diameter of approximately 10-1000nm. They uniquely combine the properties of polymers, colloids and  surfactants, and their properties can be tuned e.g. by temperature, pH or light. It is therefore possible to usemicrogels for manufacturing so-called smart materials that respond to external stimuli. Microgels adsorb spontaneously to oil/water and air/water interfaces, and hence they can be used to stabilize emulsions. In my research, I also aim to investigate how the rheological properties of microgel-covered interfaces influence their behavior in various technological applications.
I did the majority of my doctoral research at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the USA, and I defended my doctoral dissertation at the Aalto University School of Chemical Engineering in 2018. I am currently working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Physical Chemistry, RWTH Aachen University where my research is supported by the Emil Aaltonen Foundation (2019-2020) and by an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (2020-2022).