Report from 18th POLYCHAR World Forum  on Advanced Materials,

Siegen, Germany


Report from POLYCHAR 18 World Forum on Advanced Materials and 18th Short Course on Polymer Characterization

The 18th Forum took place from April 7 – 9, 2010, at the University of Siegen.  The tutorial Course on Polymer Characterization was held at the same location on April 6. The events were organized by Werner Mormann of the University of Siegen and his team. 

The Forum stresses the following areas: Predictive Methods; Nanomaterials and Smart Materials; Electrical & Dielectric Properties; Surfaces, Interfaces & Tribology; Mechanical Properties and Performance; Rheology and Processing; Structure-Property Relationships; Materials Synthesis; Biomaterials, Materials for Energy & Recycling.

As in the past years, POLYCHAR had under one roof theorists, those doing computer simulations or modeling, processing & characterization people & more. Discussions during the presentations, during the breaks, in the evenings & even during the post-conference excursion were fruitful – for newcomers and distinguished materials scientists and engineers alike.

There were 250 participants from five continents and over 40 countries who have presented some 250 contributions. There were some 120 oral presentations and a comparable number of posters.  Oral contributions were presented in three parallel sessions; posters were presented in a dedicated session. There were only five last minute cancellations. Participants from industry provided an excellent basis to exchange views between academia and industry.

Since POLYCHAR 1 one objective is to attract students and other young scientists – to give them an opportunity to meet with their peers and with well-known scientists to exchange experiences, make contacts and present their results to the scientific community. Financial support (fee waivers plus contributions to travel and local costs) was provided to more than 20 students in combination with grants from Deutsche Akademische Austausch Dienst (DAAD) and IUPAC Polymer Division.

For some established scientists support from DFG (German Research Council) and Fonds der Chemischen Industry was provided.

As every year, it is difficult to select specific contributions from the multitude of excellent oral and poster presentation – highly original and innovative. Some contributions presented (but see also Prizes below) were:

GERO DECHER, Institut Charles Sadron, Strasbourg: Toward soft matter thin film devices

DAVID GRAINGER, DAVID CASTNER, MANISH DUBEY & HIRO TAKAHASHI, University of Utah – Salt Lake City & University of Seattle - Washington: Molecular sorting at surfaces: Protein-polymer capture to patterns and their analysis

YOUNG-WAN KWON, CHANG HOON LEE, JUNG-IL JIN & YVES HENRI GEERT, Korea University – Seoul, Chosun University – Gwangju & Université Libre de Bruxelles: Materials Science of DNA

NADIA E.A. EL-GAMEL, MARCUS SCHWARZ, ERICA BRENDLER & EDWIN KROKE, Cairo University – Giza & Technical University of Freiberg: Synthesis and characterization of polymeric silyl-cyamelurates versus silyl-cyanurates

BARIS KISKAN & YUSUF YAGCI, Istanbul Technical University: Synthetic strategies to combine high performance bezoxazine thermosets with polymers

GOERG MICHLER, Martin Luther University – Halle: Influence of length scale of heterogeneous polymers on mechanical properties

WITOLD BROSTOW, IOANNIS M. KALOGERAS & AGLAIA VASSILIKOU-DOVA, University of North Texas – Denton & University of Athens: Glass transition temperatures of binary systems containing polymers

JIAN YU, WANTAO ZHAI & JIASONG HE, Institute of Chemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences - Beijing: Microfoaming of polymers by supercritical CO2 technique

JEAN-MARC SAITER, Université de Rouen: 100% green composites and thermoplastic materials. Materials for the future?

CHUNYE XU, University of Washington - Seattle: Stimuli responsive polymers: exemplified on switchable windows

RAMESHWOR ADHIKARI, Tribhuvan University - Katmandu: Fully biodegradable polymer composites based on bamboo flour: morphology and mechanical behaviour

IRINA SAVINA, MARIA DAINIAK, IGOR GALAEV, SERGEY MIKHALOVSKY, RAY WHITBY & ANDY CUNDY, University of Brighton, Protista Biotechnology – Ideon & DSM Delft: Macroporous hydrogels by cryogelation

COSIMO CARFAGNA, University of Naples: PVC: Restyling of an old polymer

AGUSTINA ALDANA, MARISA MARTINELLI & MIRIAM STRUMIA, National University of Córdoba: Synthesis, properties and applications of dendronized chitosan
SO-KYOUNG CHOI, BYUNG-WOOK JO, Chosun University - Gwangju: Depolymerization and anticoagulant activity of fucoidan

ULF W. GEDDE, Royal Institute of Technology – Stockholm:  Small-molecule diffusion in semicrystalline polymers as revealed by combined experimental and simulation studies

ALAIN FRADET, Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris: Polyesterification in ionic liquids

MD. MOZAFFOR HOSSAIN, University of Rajshahi: Effects of radiation iodinization and ionization on opto-electrical properties of polymers

The POLYCHAR Prize Committee chaired by Goerg Michler, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, has awarded a number of prizes listed below:

Carl Klason Prize for the Best Student Paper was in view of a strong competition awarded to three ex aequo winners:
* VICTOR BAUKH, Eindhoven University of Technology (advisor Henk Huinink) for his paper on NMR-imaging of water absorption by multilayer coatings
* GARETH BAYLEY, University of Stellenbosch (advisor Peter Mallon) for his presentation on carbon nanotube filled electrospun polyacrylonitrile-graft-poly(dimethylsiloxane) fibers for silicone elastomer composites
* ANAIS VUILLEQUEZ, University of Rouen (advisor Jean-Marc Saiter) for her paper on glass transition and enthalpy relaxation in glassy materials: from polymers to food industry

* NATTAYA MUKSING, Chulangkorn University, Bangkok, (advisor Rathanawan Magaraphan) for her poster on peroxide cured natural rubber/fluorelastomer/high-density polyethylene via dynamic vulcanization
* LEI NIE, University of Sheffield (advisor Anthony J. Ryan) for his poster on water vapor transport in liquid crystalline thermosets,
* NATALIIA PUZKO, Lvivska Polytechnika National University (advisor Stanislav Voronov) for her poster  on control of carbon-chain polymer surface properties

Wiley POSTER Prize:
* AntoN Ginzburg, Deutsches Kunststoffinstitut, Darmstadt (advisor Tibor Macko) for his poster  on characterization of polyolefines with high-temperature two-dimensional liquid chromatography,
* FRITJOF NILSSON, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm (advisor Ulf W. Gedde) for his poster  on modelling the permittivity of anisotropic composites

* ANNA TRINKER, University of Cologne (advisor Bernd Tieke) for her poster on functionalization of hydrogels based on N-isopropylacrylamide and cationic surfactant monomers via counterion exchange

The Bruce Hartmann Award for a Young Scientist: 
* NAZYM ZHUNUSBEKOVA, Bekturov Institute of Chemical Sciences, Almaty, for her presentation on biopolymeric complexes of Fe(III)-porphyrin: synthesis and characterization

The Jürgen Springer Award for a Young Scientist:
* Davide Tranchida, University of Siegen, for his presentation on mechanical properties of morphologies studied by atomic force microscopy nanoindentation: polymer brushes and polymeric nanophases

The International Materials Science Prize, introduced in 2007, was awarded to PETER MALLON, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa for his contributions in the field of positron annihilation spectroscopy and in electro-spinning

The prestigious Paul J. Flory POLYMER Research PRIZE 2010 was awarded ex aequo to:
Andrzej Galeski, Centre of Molecular and Macromolecular Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, Lodz, for his pioneering work on strength and toughness of semicrystalline polymers, blends and filled polymer systems

and to
Hans-Wolfgang Spiess, Max-Planck-Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz, for his pioneering work in the field of Solid-State-NMR for the analysis of structure and dynamics of polymer systems

Both received the newly coined Flory Prize Medal.

The Course on Polymer Characterization is integral part of the conference from the very beginning and takes place before the Forum. The idea of the course is to provide information for students and newcomers on modern characterization techniques by well-known specialists in the field. A peculiarity of the course is that the lecturers are available for the participants during the whole conference. Hand-outs were provided, and given IUPAC sponsorship the course was free for all students. There was a total of 83 registered Course participants - among them more than one third of scientists from academia and industry. The subjects addressed were


Participants presenting a contribution, whether oral or poster,  have the opportunity to submit a manuscript based on the presentation to the POLYCHAR Scientific Committee. Manuscripts will be published in Macromolecular Symposia as well as in Polymer Engineering & Science after the usual process of peer review.

Participants praised efficient organization of the Course, the Forum and the subsequent industrial visit – thanks to WERNER MORMANN and his team.

On Saturday after the conference there was a visit to Eisenbau Krämer in Kreuztal, not far from Siegen.  One saw there very thick wall steel pipes – but also polyethylene and polypropylene, uncrosslinked and crosslinked by irradiation, used for coatings. 

During the Forum the POLYCHAR Scientific Committee has met and elected several new members: NANDIKA ANNE D'SOUZA, University of North Texas, Denton; MICHAEL HEDENQVIST, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm; WERNER MORMANN, University of Siegen; ESTHER SEGAL, Technion, Haifa; RICARDO SIMOES, Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave, Arcozelo, and University of Minho, Guimaraes; and ROBERT A. WEISS, University of Akron;

Future POLYCHAR conferences are scheduled as follows:
* POLYCHAR-19, Katmandu, March 20 – 24, 2011.  Please note that March 26 – 28 there will be a Symposium on Materials Education at the Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research, Pune; it is hoped that some participants will attend both.
* POLYCHAR-20, Zagreb, 2012
* POLYCHAR-21, Gwangju, 2013