Neutron scattering experiments involving soft matter materials require specific labeling to observe different parts of the materials. Due to the abundance of hydrogen in soft matter as well as the large difference in contrast for neutrons between hydrogen and its isotope deuterium, selectively replacing hydrogen atoms by deuterium is a versatile strategy to change the contrast inside a material.

Our main deuteration focus at JCNS-1 is ethoxylation, as well as the synthesis of deuterated monomers like isoprene, butylene oxide, acrylates and methacrylates as well as initiators. Anionic and controlled radical polymerization techniques are used to obtain linear and non-linear homo-and block copolymers having narrow molecular weight distributions The so obtained polymers can be functionalized to attach various functional groups or molecules which can differ between both ends by using protected initiators. In addition, various molecules with specific degrees of deuteration are synthesized, for which a current example is imidazolium based ionic liquids.




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Last Modified: 19.05.2022