In the ICS-3 we investigate equilibrium and non-equilibrium phenomena in macromolecular systems. In equilibrium, various types of phases as well as the diffusive dynamics are of interest. An important aspect of our research is the response of macromolecular systems to external fields, like flow, electric fields, temperature gradients and high pressure. Patterns and structures can be induced by the external fields which do not exist in equilibrium, and which sometimes are of biological and technological relevance. To gain a fundamental understanding of these complicated processes we synthesize model systems with chemically tuned properties.
To study and characterize our systems of interest, the institute is equipped with a wide variety of standard and highly sophisticated, home-built, state-of-the art instruments. Amongst these are several specialized light-scattering set ups (including spatially resolved heterodyne light scattering, evanescent wave scattering, thermal diffusion forced Rayleigh scattering, and equipment specialized for studies in electric fields), optical techniques like Total Internal Reflection Microscopy (TIRM) and confocal microscopy, with a variety of dedicated sample environments for the application of external fields.