Digital Fourier Microscopy as a tool to investigate the dynamics of nano and microparticles in complex environments


Nano and microparticles embedded in composites and biomaterials as well as proteins and peptides in biological systems encounter a complex and often crowded environment. Therefore their transport properties, which are of fundamental importance for their dispersions, rheology and information exchange (in biology), are typically anomalous and need to be studied at different length scales due to the complex internal structure of the host system.  We present in this talk recent developments in image correlation techniques in Fourier space, which allow a thorough characterization of the dynamics of nano and microparticles over a broad range of length scales and under complex conditions. These techniques can be applied to many different contrast conditions that are available in commercial optical microscopes, including super-resolution and fluorescence/confocal microscopy. To highlight the power of this class of techniques we showcase the study of dynamics of nanoparticles in a porous medium whose structure slowly changes with time [1], and we review other recent applications in different fields.

[1] T. Sentjabrskaja, E. Zaccarelli, C. De Michele, F. Sciortino, P. Tartaglia, Th. Voigtmann, S. U. Egelhaaf and M. Laurati, Nat. Commun., 7, 11133 (2016).

Summary of academic career

Dr. Marco Laurati obtained his PhD in 2005 at Forschungszentrum Jülich (Germany) in the Neutron Scattering Group of Prof. Dieter Riechter. He then moved as a Postdoc to the Condensed Matter Laboratory (Prof. Stefan Egelhaaf) at Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf. In 2009 he moved to a senior postdoc position in a project in collaboration between Rhodia (Lyon, France) and the Material Physics Centre  (San Sebastían, Spain). In 2011 he came back to Düsseldorf as an Assistant Professor. From 2015 he is Full Professor at the Science and Engineering Division of the University of Guanajuato, Mexico. The research interests of Dr. Laurati are Soft Matter Physics, with a focus on colloidal systems, self-assembly, gels, glasses, nanocomposite and biomaterials. His experimental expertise regards microscopy, scattering techniques (light, neutrons, X-Rays) and rheology. Dr. Marco Laurati received in 2013 a Young Researcher Award from the German Science Association (DFG), he published more than 30 research articles and participated in numerous conferences as invited speaker.  Some of his articles were highlighted in the APS journal "Physics". He has been PI in projects funded by the DFG in Germany and presently in projects funded by Conacyt.