Report from 17th POLYCHAR World Forum on Advanced Materials

Rouen, France


Report: POLYCHAR 17 World Forum on Advanced Materials and 17th Course on Polymer Characterization

The 17th Forum took place on April 21nd - April 24th, 2009 at the Institute of Materials Research of the University of Rouen.  The tutorial Course on Polymer Characterization was held at the same location on April 20th. Both were organized by Prof. Jean-Marc Saiter of the University of Rouen and his team. 

The Forum stressed 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 164 participants from 40 countries presenting some 250 contributions. There were 30 invited and special lectures together with 116 regular oral contributions plus over 100 posters.  Since POLYCHAR 1, the objective is the originality and high quality of work presented – not maximizing the number of participants. Another 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. Many students attended the presentations and 60 presented their own results.

For several years now POLYCHAR Forum as well as the Course on Polymer Characterization are sponsored by the International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry (IUPAC, Division IV).  Other sponsors this year include the Government of Upper Normandy.

It is difficult to select particular contributions from the multitude of excellent oral and poster presentations.  There is the complete list of presentations on the POLYCHAR 17 webpage.  Some contributions presented (but see also Prizes below) were:

  • TOMAS BLEHA, PETER CIFRA & ZUZANA BENKOVA, Institute of Polymers of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava: Characterization of stiff macromolecules by confinement in nanochannels
  • YOSHIKI CHUJO, YUUYA NAGATA & ATSUSHI NAGAI, Kyoto University: Main-chain type organoboron quinolate polymers: Synthesis and photoluminescence properties
  • ANTHONY R. BUNSELL, National School of Mines, Paris: The fatigue failure processes in thermoplastic fibres
  • M. NEGHABAN, A. GOEL, K. STRABALA, J. VOGELER & R. FENG, University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Characterization and constitutive modeling of polycarbonate under changes of temperature, strain and strain rate
  • GOERG H. MICHLER, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg: Toughness enhancement of multicomponent polymers: Nanomechanical background
  • JIASONG HE, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing: Conditioning polymers in supercritical fluids
  • VERONICA AMBROGI, University of Naples: Bioinspired packaging
  • HAN SUP LEE, KI WOON CHOI, YI SEUL YANG & JOON HO LEE, Inha University, Incheon: Antireflection and superphobicity of nanostructured polymeric films
  • JEAN-MICHEL GUENET*, DEBARSHI DASGUPTA*, AYYAPANPILLIA AJAYAGHOSH & CYRILLE ROCHAS, University of Strasbourg; NISST, Trivandrum; and Laboratoire de Spectrométrie Physique, St. Martin d’Heres :Intermingled polymer gels and organogels
  • SUJITRA WONGKASEMJIT, S. TAMUANG, W. TANGLUMERT & T. IMAE, Chulalogkorn University, Bangkok: Synthesis of mo-sba-1 catalyst via sol-gel process and its activity
  • MICHAEL S. SILVERSTEIN, Technion, Haifa: Highly porous polymers synthesized through emulsion templating
  • VERONIQUE MICHAUD, EVA KIRBY, RUI de OLIVEIRA & JAN-ANDERS MÅNSON, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology – Lausanne: Active sensing and repair in polymer composite materials
  • WITOLD BROSTOW, HALEY E. HAGG LOBLAND & R.P. SINGH, University of North Texas, Denton; University of Lucknow: Flocculation and polymeric flocculants
  • POLYCARPOS PISSIS, S. KRIPOTOU, A. KYRYTISIS, S. PTACEK, D. POSPIECH & D. JEHNICHEN, Technical University of Athens: Synthesis, morphology and dynamics of nanostructured poly(methylmethacrylate)/poly(pentyl methacrylate) block copolymers
  • RIMANTAS LEVINSKAS, ARUNAS BALTUSNIKAS & IRENA LUKOSIUTE, Lithuanian Energy Institute, Kaunas: Protective easily peelable methylolpolyamide films
  • KARIN STANA-KLEINSCHECK, SIMONA STRNAD, TEA INDEST & VOLKER RIBITSCH, University of Maribor; Karl Franzens University, Graz: Polysaccharide coatings for medical applications
  • POONAM TANDON, University of Lucknow: Conformational dynamics of a variety of polymeric structures

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

CARL KLASON PRIZE for the Best Student Paper was in view of a fierce competition awarded to three ex aequo winners:

  • VIVIAN IKEM, Imperial College London (advisor Alexander Bismarck) for her paper on highly porous polymer foams synthesized from templates
  • RENATA PIRES, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (advisor Elizabete F. Lucas) for her presentation on tailor-made copolymers for reduction of friction in aqueous solutions
  • DAVID YAN DONG, University of Washington, Seattle (advisor Chunye Xu) for his presentation on patterned electrochromic polymeric windows

Diplomas of Distinction for Student Presentations:

  • MOHAMMAD ALI ARAVAND, Torbiat Modares University, Tehran (advisor Mohammad Ali Semsarzadeh) for his presentation on phase inversion emulsification of epoxies with non-ionic block emulsifiers
  • LYUBOV BARDASH, Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Kyiv, and University of Lyon (advisors Alexander Fainleib and Gisele Boiteux) for her presentation on performance modification of poly(butylene terephthalate) by multi-wall carbon nanotubes

IUPAC Diplomas of Distinction for a Student Poster Presentation:

  • KHADIDJA ARABECHE, Martin Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg and University of Rouen (advisors Goerg Michler and Jean-Marc Saiter) for presentation on multilayer films in confinement geometry
  • YOO-SHUNG CHOI, Chosun University, Gwangju (advisor Byung-Wook Jo) for his presentation on flame retardant composites containing inorganic waste fillers
  • ORATHAI PORNSUNTHORNTAWEE, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok (advisor Ratana Rujiravanit) for a presentation on surface modification of biopolymeric films via adsorbtion of a biosurfactant

BRUCE HARTMANN AWARD for a Young Scientist: 

  • CAROLINE TERRIÉ, University of Rouen, for her presentation on biodegradable materials from agro-based by-products

JÜRGEN SPRINGER AWARD for a Young Scientist:

  • HALEY E. HAGG LOBLAND, University of North Texas, Denton, for her presentation on brittleness of materials and its implications for composites and impact testing

The INTERNATIONAL MATERIALS SCIENCE PRIZE, introduced in 2007, was awarded to ALEXANDER BISMARCK, Imperial College London, for his work on nanocomposite foams and emulsion templating and for his successful international cooperations

The conference is also platform for the esteemed PAUL J. FLORY RESEARCH AWARD.  It was this year given ex aequo to:

ELIZABETE F. LUCAS, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, for her pioneering work on application of polymeric materials in many stages of petroleum extraction and processing; 
MASARU MATSUO, Nara Women’s University, for his pioneering work on gelation and crystallization; and to
RON SANDERSON, University of Stellenbosch, for his establishing and developing advanced polymer science in South Africa.

Gratifying is the fact that we have numerous participants who come to POLYCHAR year after year – reporting significant progress from year to year. This applies to students also. To give just one example, POOJA CHHABRA, Indian Institute of Technology New Delhi, a winner of an IUPAC Student Poster Prize at POLYCHAR 16, this year presented also impressive new results - more than one paper - including on nanomembranes for fuel cell applications.

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 basic information for students and newcomers in the field as well as an up-date of the popular characterization techniques by well-known specialists in a condensed presentation. Again, the Course turned out to be a good preparation for many of the participants to follow the subsequent research presentations better. A peculiarity of the course is that the lecturers are available for the participants during the whole conference. Reference material is provided, and due to the IUPAC sponsorship it was possible to waive the fees for all students. There was a total of about 50 Course participants. The subjects addressed were

  • Thermophysical methods, Michael Hess, Siegen
  • Kevin P. Menard, Dynamic mechanical analysis, Denton, TX
  • Chromatography, Dusan Berek, Bratislava
  • Microscopy for morphology, Goerg Michler, Halle
  • Tribology, Witold Brostow, Denton, TX
  • Solid-state NMR, Cedric Lorthioir, Thiais
  • Light-, neutron-, and x-ray scattering by polymer systems, J.-M. Guenet, Strasbourg
  • Rheology, H. Muenstedt, Erlangen-Nuremberg

Each presenter has an opportunity to submit a manuscript based on the presentation to the POLYCHAR Scientific Committee. The manuscripts will be published in scientific journals after the usual process of peer review.  Macromolecular Symposia, Pure & Applied Chemistry as well as Chemistry & Chemical Technology are all willing to publish POLYCHAR-17 papers.

Shortly before and during the Forum the POLYCHAR Scientific Committee has elected several new members: GISELE BOITEUX, University of Lyon; YOSHIKI CHUJO, Kyoto University; JEAN-MICHEL GUENET, University of Strasbourg; POLYCARPOS PISSIS, Technical University of Athens; TOMASZ STERZYNSKI, Poznan University of Technology: and CHUNYE XU, University of Washington, Seattle.

Participants praised very good organization – thanks to JEAN-MARC SAITER, JEAN GRENET, ALLISON SAITER, NATHALIE LEBLANC, MARIE-SYLVIE KAELIN, BOULOS YOUSSEF and others.

On Saturday after the conference there was a visit to the Claude Monet mansion in Giverny.  This was also very nicely organized by Jean-Marc Saiter and his colleagues. Only being in Giverny one realizes that famous water lilies painted by Monet are in fact growing only a few steps from his house. After getting from Rouen to Paris, one reads in a Paris guide book: you have to go to Giverny to see the Monet house and museum. POLYCHAR participants have done this in the inverse order.

Future POLYCHAR conferences are scheduled as follows:

POLYCHAR-18,  Siegen, Germany, April 2010 (see the webpage)
POLYCHAR-19, Katmandu, Nepal, 2011
POLYCHAR-20, Zagreb, Croatia, 2012
POLYCHAR-21, Gwangju, South Korea, 2013

Page updated: 05/14/2019