SFB 1073 Atomic scale control of energy conversion

A03 Energy dissipation and transport in switchable polymeric nanostructures (Müller, Vana)

We will investigate the energy transport in polymer materials across the interface between an amorphous polymer and a nano-sized crystalline/solid material and in self-assembled polymeric nanostructures by coarse-grained simulations and experiments. Energy transport will be controlled and studied by varying the domain spacing and morphology of block copolymer microphases and by varying nanoparticles embedded into different polymer domains. In addition, the effect of changing the orientation and size of the domains by energy input in form of UV light will be studied. This may open up pathways to materials with switchable thermal conductivity.


Fig.1: Within this project light switchable monomers are polymerized vie the RAFT mechanism. This allows tailoring polymer material in terms of chain length and architecture very easily.
This material is grafted on nanoparticles. Solubility of these hybrid nanoparticles can be switched due to the induced polarity change during isomerization.
The responsive polymer is also used to make block copolymers which can microphase separate and form several different structures. By switching one block of the block copolymer it is expected to
change the size of one phase and thereby the structure of the whole material.