• Het Kranenveld 14, Helix (STO 4.33)

    Eindhoven

    Netherlands

  • P.O. Box 513, Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry

    5600 MB Eindhoven

    Netherlands

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Organization profile

Introduction / mission

Using molecular self-assembly we build supramolecular polymers that derive their functionality from responsivity to molecular or mechanical stimuli and from their structure at the nanometer length scale.

Highlighted phrase

Smart polymeric materials as a result of sophisticated supramolecular interactions

Organisational profile

At the Supramolecular Polymer Chemistry group at Eindhoven University of Technology we develop molecular self-assembly as a tool to create smart, responsive materials. The study of mechanically induced chemistry is one of our main activities. Also, as part of a coherent, interdisciplinary research program at TU/e, we contribute to the development and characterization of biocompatible synthetic materials that are mechanically indistinguishable from biological materials. Thirdly, we exploit photopolymerizable liquid crystalline materials to develop responsive and thin films, and nanoporous membranes. Finally, we explore the chemistry of dynamic covalent polymer networks for 3D printing and other applications.

Mechanochemistry

Research in this area currently focuses on two themes. In one theme, we aim to control catalytic activity of latent transition metal complexes and organocatalysts through macroscopic mechanical forces. In particular the mechanical activation of polymerization catalysts holds promise as a novel mechanism of self-healing in polymeric materials. The second theme is concerned with mechanically control over optical phenomena. The use of strong and tunable mechanically induced luminescence is being explored as a tool in the study of mechanical failure of polymeric materials.

Biomimetic Materials 

Through the combined approach of chemical synthesis and self-assembly, computational modeling and mechanical characterization, these new materials will serve as a basis for a fundamental physical understanding of the remarkable mechanical behavior of biological materials. We focus on the design and synthesis of self-assembled hydrogels that show strain stiffening, and on materials that can be used as injectable hydrogels for biomedical applications.

Nanostructured Responsive Materials

We use photopolymerizable liquid crystalline materials with discotic phases to develop responsive and thin films as well as nanoporous membranes. Our focus is on the study of ferroelectric and piezoelectric materials and on the development of nanostructured membranes. Thin films with a high density of monodisperse pores of 1-10 nm in size are being developed.

Dynamic Polymer Materials

Introducing dynamic crosslinks results in polymer materials that are insoluble and dimensionally stable at use temperatures, but are able to flow upon the use of an external trigger (such as a high temperature).  We currently focus on developing new dynamic materials for applications in self-healing materials, additive manufacturing (e.g. stereolithography and selective laser sintering), recycling of polymer materials, and the modification of engineering plastics.

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