Working together: Aachen and Jülich Research into “Functional Microgels and Microgel Systems”
Juni 15, 2012
Microgels are expected to promote the development of intelligent materials inspired by nature, whose properties can be selectively controlled by using, for example, electric or magnetic fields, light or heat. These sponge-like polymer structures, measuring a maximum of a few micrometers, are the focus of the new special research project (SFB) 985 “Functional Microgels and Microgel Systems”, to be coordinated by RWTH Aachen University and conducted together with Forschungszentrum Jülich.
This will enable the two research facilities to strengthen their collaboration in the area of “Soft Matter”. Spread over the next four years, the project will be funded with € 10.5 million from the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG). This was confirmed by the DFG on 23 May.
Within the framework of the special research project, scientists, engineers and physicians from Jülich and Aachen will investigate issues such as the synthesis of new microgels with special functionalities, the development of new, high-precision manufacturing and processing methods as well as the application of these microgels and microgel systems in medical treatments, water purification, as catalysts and in biotechnology.
Scientists at the Jülich Institute for Advanced Simulation, the Institute of Complex Systems and the Jülich Centre for Neutron Science are taking part in four out of a total of 17 sub-projects. On the one hand, the projects address the development of theoretical models and practical methods, so that microgels can be tailored to target particular requirements, and on the other, focus on specific applications, for instance, the use of microgels as catalysts for complex polymers.