in the research database of the University of Freiburg
Scientific orientation of the Experimental Polymer Physics group
Experimental physics, especially in the field of "Soft Matter” provides an essential link between (Macromolecular) Chemistry, Biology and Applied Sciences. This is particularly true in the understanding and control of complex molecular systems and materials, which to some extent are inspired by processes found in nature.
The tasks of physics are mainly to identify the fundamental processes and to set parameters that describe them, to develop appropriate models based on predictions or requirements regarding their implementation in appropriate applications. Polymer physics, therefore, represents a fundamental pillar in terms of fundamental and conceptual issues in an interdisciplinary approach of innovative materials research. Research concentrates on questions dealing with properties of surfaces and interfaces, growth and structure formation processes, functional materials based on complex, nano-structured systems. Emphasis is on the study of molecular interactions, which control organization and structure formation.
The group follows a "bottom-up" approach: molecular interactions and their control on a sub-nanometer scale determine the hierarchical organization of complex and functional (macro-) molecules over many length scales up to macroscopic lengths. These structures are made visible, the underlying ordering processes are identified and structure formation is varied and controlled by appropriate manipulation (external factors). Emphasis is intentionally placed on surface phenomena, because the corresponding (quasi-) two-dimensional systems allow for a set of experimental approaches and on the other hand, these phenomena play a central role in materials research.