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Institute of Advanced Study

Dr Róbert Mészáros

COFUND Senior Research Fellow at Collingwood College, Durham University (October - December 2013)

Dr Róbert Mészáros is an Associate professor, Institute of Chemistry, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. Prof Mészáros is an internationally recognized scientist in the area of surfactants and polyelectrolytes. He pioneered the characterization of surfactant binding and non-equilibrium complexes consisting of surfactants and polyelectrolytes. Another important and recent achievement of his is the preparation of kinetically stable systems of strongly interacting macromolecules and amphiphiles by means of non-ionic additives and sophisticated solution mixing methods.

Polymers and surfactants are two classes of molecules that are frequently used together in personal care and pharmaceutical products and in industrial processes such as water purification. The polymers and surfactants have different roles, but often interact strongly with each other and the performance of a product depends critically on these interactions. To complicate the situation further, formulations containing polymers and surfactants are frequently used under dynamic conditions (i.e. they are diluted, sprayed, spread, blown, filtered, swallowed, etc.). Despite the fact that these molecules generally act at surfaces, it is only very recently that researchers have begun to make a systematic connection between bulk and surface properties in polymer/surfactant mixtures and only for static and not dynamic properties. This Policy & Enterprise Fellowship will unite the expertise of Dr Róbert Mészáros on bulk aggregation and of Prof Colin Bain (Durham University) on dynamic behaviour at surfaces in order to build a comprehensive understanding of dynamic processes in oppositely charged polymer/surfactant systems through new theoretical models and experimental investigations. The elucidation of the connection between the bulk and dynamic surface behaviour will lead to publications in international scientific journals and form the basis of further research support. Finally, the proposed project may strengthen the links between Durham University and industrial partners since Dr Mészáros brings expertise that is lacking within Durham.

“This senior fellowship represents the onset of a long-term collaboration between our research groups.”

Dr Róbert Mészáros, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest