Institute of Physical Chemistry and Polymer Physics
Program Area 2 - Physical Chemistry and Polymer Physics - mainly focuses on the rational design, assembly and investigation of polymers and hybrid materials. The unique physical properties (mechanical, optical, thermal, electrical and magnetic), as well as their adjustability, their processability and their responsiveness to environmental parameters give them a key role in applicatons-oriented research. Therefore polymers are predestinated for next generation applications.
The investigation of polymeric surfaces and interfaces is of elemental interest within this program area, as interfaces and surface modifications strongly influence interactions between matter and environment. Modern functional materials, for instance, are often created by combining multiple polymers or loading polymers with inorganic or low molecular weight organic materials. To ensure the functionality of these blends, the design of the internal interfaces as well as morphology control is essential.
Considering their high surface-to-volume ratios, colloidal systems are intrinsically dominated by interfaces. In solution, the stability of colloidal dispersions depends strongly upon surface charges, and therefore interfacial effects are crucial to the performance of colloidal dispersions or polyelectrolytes.
The program area also stands out due to its special competences in materials characterization.
There is a natural sub-structure within the program area into the departments of POLYMERIC INTERFACES, NANOSTRUCTURED MATERIALS, FUNCTIONAL COLLOIDAL MATERIALS and MULTI-SCALE CHARACTERIZATION. These departments will be presented in detail in the following section, including information about their systemic and methodic competences.