Physics Colloquium: Microstructure design in consumer products

Dr. Marco Caggioni, Procter & Gamble

In the last 20 years many consumer products evolved from simple solutions to multiphase complex fluids in which surfactants, polymers, solid particles, encapsulated materials and emulsion droplets coexist in a delicate equilibrium. Such evolution enabled the addition and fine-tuning of multiple functions but also increased the complexity of the liquid microstructure and required the development of fluid structuring strategies that are closely related to colloidal gels and glasses. The product formulation effort changed significantly from independent selection of ingredients and subsequent optimization of production processes, to a much more interdependent selection of formulation and processing strategies. The motivation for such changes is not only to deliver active chemical ingredients but to also design the physical colloidal scale microstructure that makes delivery possible and efficient. Many of today’s liquid detergents, for example, rely on colloidal gel or glass microstructures to provide physical stability of suspended colloidal particles to deliver benefits beyond just cleaning. In this talk, we will review some of the challenges we face in characterizing and designing the mechanical properties of liquid formulated products, with emphasis on the open questions that would certainly benefit from a strong partnership with the soft matter community.

Classification of different consumer products based on they colloidal microstructureFigure: Classification of different consumer products based on they colloidal microstructure

Tuesday, November 6 at 3:15pm

Regents Hall, 109
3700 O St. NW

Event Type

Academic Events


Students, Faculty/Staff


Georgetown College, Physics




Dr. Marco Caggioni, Procter & Gamble

Event Contact Name

Peter Olmsted

Event Contact Email

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