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Welcome to SMaL!

We are part of the Institute of Materials (IMX) at EPFL and conduct fundamental as well as applied research in the field of soft matter. We employ drops to control the local composition and structure of materials and relate these parameters to their properties. For example, we use of airborne drops to produce composite particles with unusual structures and emulsion drops to fabricate granular hydrogels with locally varying compositions.


Spray-dryed amorphous nanoparticles

In this new paper we employed surface acoustic waves (SAWs) to produce amorphous nanoparticles. The fast solvent evaporation kinetically supresses the crystallization yielding amorphous particles of different materials.

Bioinspired viscoelastic capsules

A new paper authored by Gianluca, Irvine and Esther got published. A catechol functionalized surfactant was used to form capsules that have a low permeability for small molecules and remain even intact when used in 3D printing.

Chemistry Travel Award for Huachuan

The "Platform Chemistry" of the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT), together with the Swiss Chemical Society (SCS) have granted Huachuan Du a financial contribution towards the cost of your conference participation. He will attend the Go

13.02.2019            Maryame joined SMaL!
Maryame Bina joined our lab to work on a project about structured hydrogels. Welcome!


30.01.2019             New paper of Antoine!
Antoine published a paper where he shows how thin-shell double emulsions can be used to form thin-walled capsules with very uniform shell thicknesses. Well done


30.01.2019             Gianluca defended his PhD!
Gianluca successfully defended his PhD entitled “Fluorinated surfactants in droplet-based microfluidics: Influence of their composition on the properties of emulsion drops”! Congrats to Dr. Etienne.

His public defense will take place on Friday, the 15th of February 2019 at 17:00 in the auditorium MXF 1 (link) at EPFL!

30.01.2019             CMi picture of the month
With this SEM image of CaCO3 particles, Amin won the CMi image competition in the month of December. Congrats!

CMi image contest

16.12.2018             New Paper from Gianluca!
Graphical abstract: Cross-talk between emulsion drops: how are hydrophilic reagents transported across oil phases?A new paper authored by Gianluca got published in which the transport of hydrophilic substances across thin oil phases is studied and linked to the role of surfactants. Congrats!


28.11.2018             Best Poster Nominee!
The poster about Huachuans study on amorphous calcium carbonate drew a lot of attention at the MRS Fall Meeting in Boston and he was nominated for the election of the best poster by the MRS jury! Well done!
15.11.2018             Welcome Matteo!
Matteo Hirsch started a PhD in our group. Welcome in the SMaL family!
01.11.2018             Dr. Antoine!
Antoine successfully defended his PhD, the first one in the young history of SMaL! Congrats! His public defence will be on the 17th of December 2018!
01.11.2018             Gianni started a project
Gianni Presti started in our group working on a project based on the spray dryer! Welcome at SMaL!
28.09.2018             New paper from Huachuan
Huachuan published an extensive study about the influence of the formation time on the degree of hydration and stability of spray dried amorphous calcium carbonate. Additionally, this work was highlighted by the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) where the synchrotron measurements were conducted. Congrats!

Publication      PSI Highlights

12.07.2018             New paper from Antoine
Antoine and our former master student Baptiste published a new paper on a microfluidic device that allows to produce double emulsions with extremely thin shells at high throughputs. Check it out!



11.07.2018             Alan successfully defended his master thesis
Alan Boehlen pushed forward our work in the field of amorphous CaCO3 during his master thesis with exciting results. By finishing his master thesis, he also finished his studies at EPFL. The SMaL team whishes you all the best for your professional and personal future!
17.05.2018             Antoine and Huachuan present their work at the MEGA seminar
Antoine and Huachuan gave a talk in the MEGA.Seminar (MEchanics GAthering Seminar Series) at EPFL in which they presented their research. The video podcasts of their presentations are online. Have  a look!

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01.05.2018             Duncan started a project in our lab
Duncan Gilbert, a visiting student from ESPCI Paris joined our lab for a project in which he helps to further develop our spray dryer. Welcome in the group!
01.05.2018             New paper from Huachuan
Check out the new work of Huachuan and our former lab member Alice Cont in the field of microstructured hydrogels! They assembled drops into macroscopic hydrogel materials.