News from the Physics Department
Smart bottle brushes
2020-10-29 – They look like microscopic bottle brushes: Polymers with a backbone and tufts of side arms. This molecular design gives them unusual abilities: For example, they can bind active agents and release them again when the temperature changes. With the help of neutrons, a research team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now succeeded to unveil the changes in the internal structure in course of the process.
Research at high pressure reveals details on phase transition
2019-01-24 – Unlike ice and other inorganic substances, most polymers do not show sharp phase transitions. Instead of melting at a well defined temperature, they gradually soften without significantly changing their microscopic structure. Yet some so-called thermoresponsive polymers show a drastic and discontinuous phase transition with rapid structural changes. An international team of scientists led by Prof. Christine M. Papadakis from TUM’s Physics Department has carried out a series of different experiments at high pressure, that sheds new light on the physical mechanism behind this peculiar behavior.
Controlling morphologies at the nano-scale
2018-05-08 – An international collaboration of the Physics Department at Technical University of Munich has established a novel and versatile approach to fine-tune the morphology and hence the functionality of thin polymer films. Prof. Christine Papadakis and coworkers changed the nano-structure of these films by annealing the films at elevated temperature and with mixtures of two solvent vapors.
Physics Department hosts two conferneces on "soft matter"
2017-11-02 – Two scientific conferences in the area of “soft matter” underline the relevance of interdisciplinary research, that takes place at Technical University of Munich (TUM) in this field. From 9 – 11 October the Physics Department hosted the 48th general meeting of the German “Kolloid-Gesellschaft” (Colloid Society). This was followed by a workshop on fluorescence correlation spectroscopy.
Girls’ Day at the Physics Department
2017-05-26 – „Ein eigenes Labor? Das ist ja cool!“ – Am Girls’ Day entdecken bundesweit Mädchen Berufe in Technik, IT, Handwerk und Naturwissenschaften. So waren an diesem 24. April auch am Physik-Department zwei Schülerinnen der 8. Klasse des Werner-Heisenberg-Gymnasiums in Garching am Fachgebiet Physik weicher Materie zu Gast.
Alcohol tunes the switching behavior of responsive polymers
2016-03-02 – Time-resolved small-angle neutron scattering offers a novel method to relate the switching behavior of responsive polymers in aqueous solution to their binding energy and to the molecular structure of the solvent. Added alcohol significantly alters the switching kinetics. The new approach may be applicable to a number of systems and could be used to control molecular aggregation of responsive macromolecules – and thus tune the transport and release of molecules, for instance.