Experiments in Soft & Active Matter

Research group | Institute of Physics | University of Amsterdam

Part of the Soft Matter group

Our team investigate the physics of liquids and complex liquids but also of active systems that give rise to emergent properties.


We look at the formation of droplets in different fluids.


We put the rheology of emulsion and polymer solutions into test in various situations.


We investigate the mechanical properties of food/care products and their relationship to sensory perception.


Emergent behavior of collection of active point-like particles and active chains.

- NEWS -

June 8, 2022- New article!

"Chromatographic separation of active polymer-like worm mixtures by contour length and activity"

published in Science Advances.

In chromatography, one usually allows mixtures of molecules to flow through a column filled with a porous material. The better the molecules attach to the porous material, the longer it takes them to emerge from the column, allowing for the separation of mixtures of different types of molecules. Surprisingly, for the case of active worms, the chromatography approach also turned out to work when separating particles of different activity: when worms in water flow through a maze structure, the active worms emerge much faster than the slow ones.

Nov 3, 2021- New article!

"Predicting thickness perception of liquid food products from their non-Newtonian rheology"

published in Nature Communications.

What drives the mouthfeel of ’thickness’? When is a soup too ’thick’? Here, we measure the rheology of liquid soups and show their subjectively perceived ’thickness’ can be directly associated to their non-Newtonian rheology.

Jun 18, 2021- New article!

"Light-switchable deposits from evaporating drops containing motile microalgae"

published in Soft Matter.

In this article, we use and benefit from the light-sensitivity of algae to show that their tunable activity can completely suppress the coffee stain effect and even tame their direction to produce on-demand patterns.