Interfacial Science Laboratory

Israelachvili’s laboratory in chemical engineering contains state-of-the-art equipment necessary for detailed measurements of the forces and structures at fluid-fluid and fluid-solid interfaces. The instruments include five versions of the surface forces apparatus (SFA) to measure the interactions between surfaces such as biomembranes, polymers, and crystalline solids across liquids such as water or oils. They can be used to measure dynamic forces (in 1D, 2D or 3D) important to lubrication and friction at the molecular scale. The newest variations of the SFA are multi-mode instruments that can simultaneously do in situ x-ray or fluorescence imaging, or electrochemistry, together with surface force measurements. The lab also includes centrifuges, a streaming potential device, a contact angle set-up, a micro-balance, two Langmuir-Blodgett troughs for creating ordered monolayer assemblies, and a high-speed camera.