INTERFACE is a newly established multidisciplinary research environment financed by the Swedish Research Council (VR) after a highly competitive selection process. This new effort is based on three existing excellent centers that have been working closely for the last 10 years; the Linné FLOW Centre, SeRC (Swedish e-Science Research Centre) and WWSC (Wallenberg Wood Science Centre). The new environment will merge the competence of these three existing centers to allow us to tackle new demanding challenges.
The INTERFACE centre aims to model complex transport phenomena in fluid suspensions, predict properties of flows over hierarchical interfaces, and design surfaces to maximize heat transfer, e.g. for boiling. This will be achieved by combining computational fluid dynamics on the macroscopic scale with molecular dynamics for nanoscale particles and surfaces. The design and fabrication of materials can dramatically enhance the efficiency of energy-conversion and manufacturing processes, which rely or function because of flowing fluids. Examples include cellulose production and micropatterned surfaces that reduce flow resistance or enhance phase-change heat transfer. While recent advances in micro- and nanofabrication techniques are providing new technological opportunities of enormous potential, we lack high-fidelity models capturing how the underlying small-scale physiochemical processes interact with the large-scale flow and heat- and mass-transport phenomena, since these depend both on continuum and particle atomistic properties.
In order to do this, we shall combine the competence in accurate high-performance computer simulations in both Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Molecular Dynamics (MD) from SeRC with the theoretical knowledge and experimental analysis of fluid transport in FLOW, and the expertise in surface chemistry and material science at WWSC. We aim to educate a new generation of PhD students with a more pronounced multidisciplinary background and build the basis for future excellence research in Sweden beyond the six years of the present grant.
The center is organized in three themes: Boiling heat transfer, biomaterials, and hierarchical surfaces for flow control.