Department of ChemistryDr Stuart Clarke

Dr Stuart Clarke

Telephone: 01223 765700

Research Interests

Our research interests cover a wide range of problems in colloid and interface science from adsorption of molecules to solid surfaces from liquids and solutions to the structure and behaviour of particles in concentrated colloidal dispersions.

Adsorption from solution:

The adsorption of molecules from liquids and solutions to solid surfaces is central to many areas of academic and industrial importance such as colloidal stability, detergency, lubrication, liquid crystal displays and photovoltaic applications. Although of enormous importance almost nothing is known about these adsorbed layers; indeed, it is not even known whether they are solid or liquid like. We have recently developed a combination of experimental methods that can provide details of the state, absolute composition and crystallographic structure of the adsorbed layers.

Recent areas of interest include: the surface chemistry of ice-cream to the fundamental relations that govern mixing in 2D.

Much of the work is at international facilities including: Institute Laue-Langevin, Grenoble, France, ( ILL), ISIS, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxon, UK, (ISIS), ESRF, Grenoble, France (ESRF) and KEK, Japan, ( KEK).

Collaborations: Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Sevilla, Spain, (Spain), Department of Chemistry, Osaka, Japan, (Japan) and Department of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, Oxford, UK ( Oxford).

The synchrotron ring and neutron source of the ESRF and ILL facilities in the French Alps

Orientation of Colloidal Particles:

Many industrially useful materials are dispersions of tiny colloidal particles suspended in another medium. Often these particles may be rod shaped or plate shaped; for example, pigments in inks and clay particles in paper coatings. The orientation of the particles can have pronounced influences on flow behaviour of the dispersion and on the properties of any product. We have been developing approaches that allow the full orientation distribution of particles in concentrated and opaque dispersions to be characterised.

Recent projects include the determination of the microstructure and porosity of filter cakes and consolidated soils.

Much of the work requires the use of x-ray and neutron facilities worldwide including Institute Laue-Langevin, Grenoble, France, (ILL) and ISIS, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxon, (ISIS).


Currently I give and supervise, the part III lecture course, Interface and Colloid Chemistry, in the Department of Chemistry and can be found demonstrating in the IB teaching lab on Friday afternoon.


Part III Interface and Colloid Chemistry Problems

Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4


Positions Available

We welcome informal applications from prospective project and Ph D students and postdoctorates at any time (

Each year we have a number of potential positions, including:

8-12 week summer holiday projects (paid!!)

Ph D studentships (At present potential projects include long term stays in either Spain or France)

Postdoctorate positions

All these positions will be involved with one of a wide variety of research projects from the Institute from colloid and interface science to analytical flow problems.


BP Institute

My appointment is joint between the Department of Chemistry and the BP Institute at the University of Cambridge. The BP Institute is a new interdisciplinary centre established through an endowment to the University from BPAmoco and hosted by the University Departments of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Earth Sciences, Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Chemistry.

Full Publications listing

2003, Department of Chemistry, Cambridge University
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