As the world of research becomes more and more dynamic, so do our samples! Yet, fascinating dynamic behavior often slips away from the lenses of our conventional microscopy methods. We need apparatus as dynamic as our samples! If this is a challenge you face, then the ICMS lecture on label-free optical imaging may have the right solutions for you! The presentations, starring our group members Dongyu Zhang and Jacques Peixoto, introduced the attendees to the world of dynamic holographic microscopy (DHM) and imaging ellipsometry (IE).

Both DHM and IE are non-destructive and non-contact characterization methods, giving your dynamic samples all the space to be as dynamic as they like. Moreover, the label-free nature of DHM and IE enables an entire region of your sample to be monitored, instead of a single molecule or protein. This is ideal for the statistical analysis of your samples’ behavior. DHM even offers a “faster-than-eyesight imaging rate” as Dongyu stated, making it suitable for the quantification of fast phenomena. Coupled with thickness resolutions of 10nm and 0.1 nm for DHM and IE respectively, the level of detail in your analysis would be astounding!

DHM has proved its mettle in tracking cancer cells and quantifying our group’s dynamic liquid crystal surfaces. In fact, Dongyu presented examples of her own work, using the DHM to analyze her liquid-secreting liquid crystal networks. Meanwhile, IE has been cleverly applied to track ion adsorption and reveal the formation of new solid/liquid interfaces. In fact, “the potential of IE is only limited by our understanding of it”, says Jacques. Yet, both characterization methods have functions which can be applied in a multitude of scientific fields and this was reflected in the plentitude of questions asked to our presenters regarding applications in fields ranging from biology to metrology to topography. This resulted in lab visits to see our apparatus and possibly new ideas for experiments for our attendees. Thus, it may even present some new opportunities for you! Do not hesitate to contact our resident experts, Dongyu and Jacques, about what DHM and IE methods may offer you!

Correspondence by Mert O. Astam

Prof. Dick Broer on NPO1 interview for our newly developed artificial skin 
Our research - artificial skin sweats on demand - is published in Angewandte Chemie VIP (top 5% paper) 
Congratulations to Mert Orhan Astam on completing his Master's degree with cum laude! On 20-10-2021, he attended the graduation ceremony at Imperial College in London. 
Prof. Dick Broer shows synchronized swinging of plastic films 
Coupled liquid crystalline oscillators in Huygens' synchrony 
Nature highlights our research 
An artificial skin oozes ‘sweat’ through tiny pores 
een wondverband met een aan-uitknop dat eerst het ene medicijn vrijgeeft, dan wondvocht opneemt en dan het volgende medicijn loslaat. Met een nieuw materiaal kan dat straks. En er zijn meer indrukwekkende toepassingen mogelijk: zwetende robots bijvoorbeeld, machines die zichzelf inoliën of misschien ramen die zichzelf wassen. 
Michi Nakata Prize for Early Career Achievements

Danqing Liu (Eindhoven Univ of Technology)
For her outstanding achievement in stimuli-responsive liquid crystals and liquid crystal coating systems in a wide range of applications covering from soft robotics and advanced optics to healthcare systems. The diversity of her research will make her hold the leadership in the field. 
Onderzoekers werken hard aan een coating die van vorm kan veranderen. Met die techniek is van alles mogelijk: Marsrovers en zonnepanelen die zand van zichzelf afschudden, braille op je telefoon, chirurgische instrumenten die de arts feedback geven, of VR-handschoenen waarmee je de bal die je gooit echt voelt. Je kunt het een beetje zien als kippenvel, maar dan zo klein dat je het niet ziet. 

TU/e News
411.000 euros for Danqing Liu to develop smart surfaces releasing drugs for wound healing or acting as artificial skins for robots. 

"Making robots sweat with smart surfaces that act as artificial skin" 
Danqing Liu wil interacties tussen mens en machine veranderen.  
"Ik probeer slimmere materialen te maken" 
LINK Magazine
In de toekomst zouden de slimme oppervlakken die Liu heeft ontwikkeld, gebruikt kunnen worden om kunstmatige huiden te ontwikkelen die "robots kunnen laten zweten, afkoelen en beter presteren.
Robots laten zweten met slimme oppervlakken die als kunstmatige huid fungeren