The most distinctive characteristics of the polymers are the chemical composition distribution (functionality) and the architecture of the polymer chain. Although great advances in the synthesis of well defined polymer chains have been achieved during the last years, control of the polymer composition (functionality) and architecture still is the single most demanding challenge in the development of tailor-made polymer-based materials.
The planned activities in polymer synthesis are:
Organic compounds offer many possibilities for the development of polymerization catalysts with enhanced activity, selectivity and stereoselectivity controlling capabilities, avoiding the cytotoxicity of the metallic catalysts.
Robust, Efficient and Orthogonal Synthesis of Polymers
The combination of copper-based click chemistry and controlled radical polymerization has shown impressive possibilities for the synthesis of complex multifunctional materials. However, because of the cytotoxicity of the copper more biocompatible alternatives are needed. Thiol-based click reactions, sulfo-click and Diels-Alder reactions will be explored.
The range of applications of the polymers is enlarged by combining polymers with other materials. Polymer-inorganic hybrids have a wide range of applications including coatings, biomedical devices, pollutant removal from water, photovoltaics, adhesives and sensors.