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Personal profile

Research profile

Rint Sijbesma’s research uses supramolecular and dynamic covalent chemistry to develop the next generation of ‘’smart’’ polymers.  The development of dynamic and stimuli-responsive materials is one of the central themes in his group. In many projects, the stimulus is mechanical in nature. Self-assembling hydrogels which mimic the mechanical properties of natural fibrous tissues are a highlight in this program. In related research, polymers are studied that respond to a mechanical stimulus by emitting light – thus giving rise to an ultrasensitive tool to report damage at the molecular level. Moreover stress-sensitive catalysts are developed for self-healing materials.

Dynamics and responsiveness also play a main role in a program that uses dynamic covalent chemistry to create adaptive materials such as vitrimers. These materials find application in 3D printing, in coatings and as engineering materials.

Another theme in Sijbesma’s research is the use of self-assembly to create nanostructured polymeric materials. The focus is on the use of columnar liquid crystals to form polymeric films with a high density of monodisperse, nanometer sized pores. In a related activity, columnar liquid crystals are used to develop a new generation of organic ferroelectric materials. 

Academic background

Rint Sijbesma studied chemistry at Utrecht University where he graduated cum laude in 1987. In 1992 he obtained his PhD at the University of Nijmegen for research into synthetic receptor molecules under the supervision of Prof. Roeland Nolte. The following year he worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Prof. Fred Wudl at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) on the organic chemistry of C60 (buckminsterfullerene). In 1993, Sijbesma joined the group of Prof. E.W. (Bert) Meijer at Eindhoven University of Technology, where he started his work on supramolecular polymers as assistant professor. In 2002, he became associate professor and with a 'Pionier' grant from NWO set up a research line in the area of 'Functional Self-Assembled Polymers'. In 2006 Rint Sijbesma was appointed full professor. 

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Rint P. Sijbesma is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Polymers Chemical Compounds
Hydrogels Engineering & Materials Science
Liquid Crystals Chemical Compounds
Hydrogel Chemical Compounds
Polymerization Chemical Compounds
Chemical activation Chemical Compounds
Catalysts Chemical Compounds
Ferroelectric materials Chemical Compounds

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Research Output 1986 2020

5 Downloads (Pure)

Fractography of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) hydrogel networks crosslinked with mechanofluorophores using confocal laser scanning microscopy

Stratigaki, M., Baumann, C., van Breemen, L., Heuts, H., Sijbesma, R. & Göstl, R., 14 Jan 2020, In : Polymer Chemistry. 11, 2, p. 358-366 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Covalent bonds
Confocal Microscopy
9 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)

Carbon nanotube reinforced supramolecular hydrogels for bioapplications

Mihajlovic, M., Mihajlovic, M., Dankers, P. Y. W., Masereeuw, R. & Sijbesma, R. P., 1 Jan 2019, In : Macromolecular Bioscience. 19, 12 p., 1800173.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Carbon Nanotubes
Carbon nanotubes
1 Citation (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)

Microphase separation: enabling isosorbide-based polycarbonates with improved property profile

Kamps, J. H., Ramakrishnan, V., Hoeks, T., Jansen, B. J. P., Sijbesma, R. P. & Heuts, J. P. A., 14 May 2019, In : Macromolecules. 52, 9, p. 3187-3198 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Microphase separation
3 Citations (Scopus)
70 Downloads (Pure)

Mimicking active biopolymer networks with a synthetic hydrogel

Fernández-Castano Romera, M., Göstl, R., Shaikh, H., ter Huurne, G., Schill, J., Voets, I. K., Storm, C. & Sijbesma, R. P., 6 Feb 2019, In : Journal of the American Chemical Society. 141, 5, p. 1989-1997 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Residual stresses
2 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)

Suppressing depolarization by tail substitution in an organic supramolecular ferroelectric

Urbanaviciute, I., Bhattacharjee, S., Biler, M., Lugger, J. A. M., Cornelissen, T. D., Norman, P., Linares, M., Sijbesma, R. P. & Kemerink, M., 23 Jan 2019, In : Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. 21, 4, p. 2069-2079 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
operating temperature
Ferroelectric materials
Liquid Crystals


Research Center for Functional Molecular Systems

E.W. Meijer (Recipient), J.C.M. van Hest (Recipient), L. Brunsveld (Recipient), R.A.J. Janssen (Recipient) & R.P. Sijbesma (Recipient), 2013

Prize: NWOGravitationScientific

selection procedure
Ministry of Education


Capita selecta

1/09/16 → …


DBL Molecules and materials

1/09/13 → …


Graduation Project MSMC

1/09/15 → …


Organic chemistry

1/09/12 → …


Physical organic chemistry

1/09/14 → …


Student theses

(Photoactive) metathesis polymers

Author: Maas, J., 31 Aug 1996

Supervisor: Meijer, E. (Supervisor 1) & Sijbesma, R. (Coach)

Student thesis: Master

Assembly of supramolecules into well defined morphologies

Author: Jansma, S., 21 Dec 2016

Supervisor: Schenning, A. (Supervisor 1), Murphy, J. (Supervisor 2), Nickmans, K. (Supervisor 2), Broer, D. (Supervisor 2) & Sijbesma, R. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master


Catalytic nanoporous membranes: the synthesis of a T-shaped mesogen based on a Zn-Salphen complex

Author: Lugger, J., 30 Nov 2013

Supervisor: Schwartz, E. (Supervisor 1), Sijbesma, R. (Supervisor 2) & Schenning, A. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master

Chemical and catalytic control over the in situ netwok formation kinetics in PBT vitrimers

Author: van den Bergen, S., 28 Feb 2018

Supervisor: Heuts, J. (Supervisor 1), Zhou, Y. (Supervisor 2), Sijbesma, R. (Supervisor 2) & de Carvalho Esteves, A. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master


Complementary quadruple hydrogen bonding on surfaces and in solution

Author: Hamers, B., 31 Dec 2004

Supervisor: Ligthart, G. (Supervisor 1), Sijbesma, R. (Supervisor 2) & Meijer, E. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master