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Prof Gordon Tiddy - personal details

Contact details

Role: Chair In Formulation Engineering





Gordon joined the department in 1996 after 29 years in Unilever Research Port Sunlight Laboratory undertaking research on surfactants for detergents and personal care, with emphasis on surfactant mesophases. He now holds an Emeritus chair, but is still research-active with collaborations in the UK and the rest of the World.

His research interests lie in the areas of liquid crystals (particularly lyotropic systems), gels, soft solids/pastes and coacervates. The main objective is to characterise the complex fluids formed by multi-component mixtures (formulations) so that molecular and mesoscopic models can be developed. Typical systems are made up of various constituents, including one or more surfactants, polymers, electrolytes, co-solvents, flavours/perfumes, crystalline solids etc. A wide range of methods is employed, including microscopy, Xray diffraction, NMR spectroscopy, various scattering techniques, DSC and rheological measurements.

Currently emphasis is on activities connected withchromonic liquid crystals (formed by numerous dyes and pharmaceutical actives).These aim to develop a suite of techniques for examining structural changes during product processing and dissolution so that the impact of specialist components can be controlled. Of particular interest are systems that exhibit multiple phase coexistence of complex fluids where the various phases all have the same structure. This includes multiple lamellar phases in surfactant products and membrane lipid patches. Recent work also includes a systematic study of extended surfactants used to produce microemulsions with triglycerides and the formation of gel (rotator) phases in triglyceride/monoglyceride mixtures.


  • Formulation of nanomaterials (Inform)
  • Lipid states in biological membranes - disinfectant mechanisms
  • Microemulsions with natural oil systems
  • Surfactant/mesophase dissolution kinetics
  • Surfactant-gel phases - structure and controlled release