Dr. Petra Uhlmann

Group Leader Responsive & Functional Surfaces
at the Leibniz-Institut für Polymerforschung Dresden e.V.

Hohe Str. 6
01069 Dresden
Phone: +49 (0)351 4658-236
Fax: +49 (0)351 4658-281



Group members

  • Dr. Sebastian Rauch
  • Dr. Alexander Münch
  • Stefan Adam
  • Carolin Böhm
  • Lisa Hampel
  • Hannes Kettner
  • Alice Rosenthal
  • Benjamin Schur
  • Rene Winkler
  • Michele Wölk

Research Topics

Modular polymer brush systems with stimuli responsive properties
Polymer brushes can be assigned to the group of stimuli-responsive thin films and involve macromolecules that are grafted chemically to a surface at sufficiently high grafting densities so that the polymer chains experience excluded volume repulsions and adopt a stretched conformation. Upon external stimuli (changes in solvent quality, temperature, pH, ionic strength), the macromolecular chains may respond via conformational transformations and built up very special interfaces, which can be used to trigger specific interfacial processes or phenomena, such as the adsorption of proteins/enzymes or the catalytic activity.
We are interested in profiling of polymer brush films for switchable selective interactions, for technical applications at extended surfaces, and for use in integrated systems applicable e.g. in microfluidics and as sensors.

We are working in the following fields:

We are not only focused on development of novel functional, adaptive or switching thin films, but also on the fundamental understanding of individual switching dynamics and swelling characteristics. For the introduction of new functionalities and extension of characteristics of the stimuli-responsive polymer brush systems we use e.g. the so called "Click Chemistry" to build up tailored brush systems with incorporated nanoparticles or rods, small (functional) molecules, or macromolecules having different constitution.

Focused topics in this section are:

  • Synthesis of mono- and bi-functionalized stimuli-responsive polymers via ATRP
  • Development of modular stimuli-responsive polymer brush systems with tailored properties
  • Functionalisation of polymer brush systems via Click-type chemistry (with nanoparticles, small molecules, cyclodextrines and macromolecules)
  • Detailed analysis (ex situ, in situ) of polymer brush systems via spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE), coupling of SE with QMC-D, electron microscopy (SEM, TEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM), ATR, wetting experiments