Adaptive Polymer Gels with Controlled Network Structure

Multi-angle light scattering instrument

Multi-angle light scattering instrument at the JGU Institute of Physical Chemistry, which is a key instrument for the analysis of amphiphile polymer network gels . Photo: Georg Conrad

The Research Unit "Adaptive Polymer Gels with Controlled Network Structure" unites seven research groups at six locations, two of which being JGU Mainz and TU Darmstadt, with a spokesperson located in Mainz. Its research focus is on soft polymer gels that are permeable for both oil and water, which makes them useful for applications as soft contact lenses, antimicrobial coatings, and membranes in fuel cells. To tailor the gels for these and other applications, it is necessary to conceptually and comprehensively understand the interplay between their nano- and microstructure and their mechanical strength as well as their microscopic permeability. To achieve such understanding, the Research Unit converges complementary expertise from the fiels of theoretical as well as experimental physics and chemistry. The research strategy is based on model-structured networks made by controlled chemistry that are then probed by microscopy, spectroscopy, and mechanical analyses; all that will also be complemented by computer simulations.