The sabbatical leave will be used to focus all my attention to solve a decennia long standing problem in the area of flow-through porous media in general and in liquid chromatography in particular, i.e., finding the link between the structural details of the medium and the ensuing degree of axial dispersion (=axial spreading of molecules). This is a problem I have already been working on for nearly 10 years, mostly under the radar. In the past years, its solution has become increasingly timely because it is needed to provide theoretical guidance to the current international research efforts aiming at fabricating the “ideal chromatographic column”, which are in turn spurred by the exciting possibilities arising from new technologies such as silicon micromachining and 3D-printing using two-photon polymerization.

The problem will be tackled by a combined experimental and theoretical approach, starting from my own (unpublished) theoretical work on the topic but complemented with the advanced know-how on structure-transport relationship theories I will acquire during a series of short stays with Tanguy Le Borgne (URennes). To produce the state-of-the-art microfluidic test structures needed to verify the established theories, the sabbatical leave will also allow me to co-supervise two MSc-projects at the group of Han Gardeniers (UTwente), which has full access to one of Europe’s most advanced microfluidic foundries. Both Gardeniers (Advanced) and Le Borgne (Consolidator) are ERC grantees, such that the proposed sabbatical leave would allow to join the efforts of 3 ERC grantees.
Effective start/end date1/10/1830/09/19

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