Whereas small molecules have prolonged our lives, large molecules have made it comfortable. This statement is particularly true when we look at polymer networks. They are 'infinite molecules' that find use in a plethora of applications that suit for comfort of living: in hygiene products, in automobile industry, and in bio-medicine.
Our group's scientific focus has long been to fundamentally understand the fascinating (and quite complex) interplay of the microscopic structure, the manifold dynamics, and the resulting rich properties of polymer networs and gels — driven mostly by curiosity, but also in view of materials development.
Since a few years, we are shifting our focus to particularly account for one of the biggest threats of our time: the climate crisis. It is now our goal to develop polymer-network and gel materials that help for adaption to a soon considerabily more hostile climate. A partiuclar focus in this context is on well-structured hydrogels for water desalination and purification.