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Physics of Advanced Materials

@Michel Brumat

Today, polymers play a major role in everyday life. Processing of polymers during production and modification of polymers for specific needs belong to common tasks in technology. Many interesting physical processes and phenomena hide in processing and modification of polymers. Application of shear stress during the flow of polymers in production lines can e.g. give rise to structure formation (crystallization). Polymers may change their structure or properties in the presence of other materials (e.g. nanosized particles).

Research at the LPM is focused on a fundamental understanding of the physics of heterogeneities in polymers. The heterogeneities under study mainly are so-called interphases which occur at the interfaces between polymers and other materials. These interphases affect the macroscopic properties of the polymers. Therefore macroscopic experimental techniques are widely used beside studies on a microscopic level.

Systems under investigation

The systems under study comprise 

  • nanocomposites of rubbers/epoxies and inorganic nanoparticles (with or without surface treatment)
  • polymers under confinement (porous glasses)
  • polymers (epoxies, alkanes, rubbers)  in contact to differently treated or structured surfaces
  • semi-crystalline polymers (e.g. polyethylene) under shear stress