One field of current research deals with control of crystal nucleation in immiscible liquid-liquid system, which is of key importance to living systems and to a wide variety of industries, including pharmaceuticals, pigments, cosmetics, foods and nanotechnology. In particular, we are interested in controlling crystallizations using interfacial amphiphiles which may influence nucleation. Undergraduate researchers in our group examine the influence that surfactant structure can have upon monolayer-directed crystal nucleation occurring at an isolated liquid-liquid interface. We use an individual aqueous microdroplet of model inorganic salts held in an immiscible surfactant-containing liquid, as a crystallization chamber.
Typical crystallization in a microdroplet is shown in the following link.
For more details, please visit our recent publications. (undergraduate co-authors are underlined)
Z.Michalak, D.Fartash, N.Haque, and S. Lee, "Tunable Crystallization via Osmosis-Driven Transport Across a Droplet Interface Bilayer", CrystEngComm., http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C2CE26249E (Available online 11 Sept. 2012)
P.Sanstead, N.Florio, K.Giusto, C.Morris, and S. Lee, "Sensitivity of Cationic Surfactant Templates to Specific Anions in Liquid Interface Crystallization", In Print, J. Colloid Interf Sci., 2012. (Available online 10 March 2012, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcis.2012.02.067 )
Loreta Geneviciute, Nick Florio, and S. Lee*, "Towards Polymorph Control in an Inorganic Crystal System By Templated Nucleation at a Microdroplet Liquid Interface: Potassium Hexacyanoferrate(II) Trihydrate", Crystal Growth & Design, 11 (10), 4440-4448, 2011. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/cg200628a
S. Lee*, P. Sanstead, J. Wiener, R. Bebawee and A. Hilario, "Effect of Specific Anion on Templated Crystal Nucleation at the Liquid-Liquid Interface", Langmuir, 26 (12), 9556-9564, 2010. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/la1001557
K. Allain, R. Bebawee, S. Lee*, "Controlled Nucleation of K3Fe(CN)6 In Isolated Microdroplets at Liquid-Liquid Interface", Crystal Growth & Design, 9 (7), 3183-3190, 2009. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/cg801199e