The Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research ranks among the top research centers in the field of polymer and interface science world-wide. The work force is made up by 400 scientists. The institute combines all the necessary specialized expertise - from the creative design of new materials, from their synthesis in the lab to their physical characterization as well as the theoretical understanding of polymer characteristics. The Institute is divided into six departments:
- Polymer theory
- Physical chemistry of polymers
- Physics at interfaces
- Molecular spectroscopy
- Molecular electronics
- Synthesis of macromolecules
The Physics at Interfaces Group focuses on the physics of soft matter interfaces. Our general aim is to derive simple quantitative descriptions of soft matter interfacial phenomena. Major topics are interfacial forces and wetting, in particular wetting of super liquid-repellent surfaces. To gain a profound understanding of the main concepts of the wetting phenomenon under investigation, we design model-structures, analyze the microscopic and macroscopic features with complementary experimental techniques and make use of mean-field descriptions to realize generic features. Our goal is to solve fundamental questions, with the perspective of future applications. In particular we aim for adaptable design of super-liquid repellent or slippery surfaces for gas exchange, anti-icing, anti-biofouling, heat exchange, particle synthesis, next to others socially and environmentally relevant topics.
two laser scanning confocal microscopes, a lateral adhesion force instrument, two high speed cameras, several atomic force microscopes, a Langmuir Blodgett trough, a contact angle measurement device. The MPI-P has an X-ray photoelectron spectrometer, two scanning electron microscopes, well equipped chemical and physical labs and a newly installed clean-room. Experienced technical staff is available to aid smooth adaptation to these high level instruments.
- Direct observation of drops on slippery lubricant-infused surfaces, F. Schellenberger et al. H.-J. Butt, D. Vollmer, Soft Matter 11, 7617-7626 (2015).
- Super liquid-repellent gas membranes for carbon dioxide capture and heart-lung machines. M. Paven, D. Vollmer, H.-J. Butt, et. al.:, Nat. Comm. (2013) DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3512.
- Candle soot as a template for a transparent robust superamphiphobic Coating, X. Deng, H.-J. Butt, D. Vollmer, et. al., Science 2012, 335, 67.
- Droplets leap into action, D. Vollmer, H.-J. Butt, Nature News & Views (2015), 527, 41