Two papers out for Lucas

Congrats to Lucas for having two papers coming out in one week!

His paper in Advanced Materials Interfaces presents a grafting-to coating approach that yields polymer brushes up to an unprecedented thickness of 19 nm. To this end, an easy-to-apply poly(dopamine) primer layer was optimised to promote binding of a block copolymer with a reactive poly(glycidyl methacrylate) block.

In Lucas’ second paper that came out this week, published in Langmuir, he expanded on this grafting-to method, by demonstrating it can be used on a variety of substrates, and for a range of block copolymers.

Review on Phase Separation out in Soft Matter

Our recent review on Phase Separation in Supramolecular and Covalent Adaptable Networks has been published in Soft Matter. The review covers a broad range of important works and information regarding the developments and applications of phase separation in dynamic polymer networks. It highlights how material properties can be tuned and enhanced, but also discusses the underlying mechanisms behind phase separation. Thanks to Martijn de Heer Kloots, Sybren Schoustra and Joshua Dijksman for bringing this joint project to a successful end.

The article is available here (Open Access).

Annemieke and Simon will present at Dutch Polymer Days 2023

At the upcoming Dutch Polymer Days, both Annemieke and Simon will present their research:

  • On Monday (April 24) Simon will present his research on Covalent Adaptable Networks using Boronate Linkages by incorporating TetraAzaADamantanes.
  • Next day (April 25) Annemieke will give a lecture on Self-Healing Antifouling Polymer Brushes.

If you’re attending DPD2023, please check out their lecture!

Sybren’s self-healing materials covered by the media

In the same week as Sybren’s PhD defence, his work on self-healing materials was covered by various media:

  • Omroep Gelderland visited the lab to learn more about the self-healing imine polymers that Sybren developed during his PhD project. The corresponding article is available here, while the video can be seen here.
  • Maarten was interviewed on NPO Radio 1 (the national news and sports channel) on the same topic. The item can be listened back here (starting at 21:43 min).
  • EditieNL (a topical national magazine program) also visited our lab to interview Sybren and to learn more about our ‘futuristic self-healing plastics’. The video item can be seen here (item starts at 07:50 min).
  • Our own university magazine, Resource, also interviewed Sybren. The interview article is available here.

PhD vacancy recyclable polycarbonates by dynamic covalent chemistry

Our group has a PhD vacancy on a project that is focussed on polymer materials that contribute to a circular economy. This PhD position is part of our DynaBranch consortium that consists of partners from Wageningen University, Eindhoven University of Technology, Avans Hogeschool and SABIC as industrial partner/sponsor. Our consortium was awarded a KIC Circularity grant from NWO to develop a program on circular polymers.

The aim of this program is to increase the recyclability of an important class of engineering plastics: polycarbonates. For this, we will (chemically) modify polycarbonates by dynamic-covalent chemistry. These new polymers will be combined with existing polycarbonate (as part of a recycling stream) to achieve (re)processing that is compatible with existing infrastructure.

The overall project will cover topics from organic/polymer synthesis, polymer processing and characterisation, ageing and recycling studies, as well as socio-economic analyses related to the acceptance of these new materials.

If you would like to find out more about the vacancy and/or if you wish to apply, please use this link.

Paper by Sybren on metal coordination in imine networks published in MRC

Just before he will defend his PhD thesis, Sybren’s paper on the stabilising effect of metal coordination in imine-based covalent adaptable networks has been published in Macromolecular Rapid Communications. Moreover, the work features on the front cover of the journal.

In the paper, Sybren describes the effect of choice of metal ion, corresponding counter anion, coordination motif and metal-to-ligand ratio on the material properties of polyimine networks.

You can read the full paper here.

First paper by Simon published

Simon’s first paper has been accepted in Frontiers in Chemistry. Together with Marijn, Simon showed how a new dynamic-covalent motif, based on the TetraAzaAdamantane-boronic ester linkage, can be used to create covalent adaptable networks that are more robust than conventional (gel-like) boronic ester-based networks.

You can read the full paper here.

Paper by Sybren and Martijn published in Macromolecules

The paper describing the work by Sybren and Martijn on phase separation in imine-based covalent adaptable networks has been published in the journal Macromolecules. On top of that, their work features on the inside cover of the issue the paper was published in.

In the paper, we describe the surprise finding of phase separation in our previously developed polyimine networks. For this, we pioneered the use of Raman confocal microscopy to reveal the phase-separated nature of the networks. We found that the phase separation not only affected the appearance of the materials but –more notably– also had a noticeable effect on their thermal-mechanical properties.

You can read the full paper here.