First-ever Texan/German symposium opens doors

October 14, 2004

HOUSTON, Oct. 14, 2004 - Collaborations between the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Germany and the University of Houston are providing impetus for polymers research developments that range from improving display devices to genetic profiling.

Opening the door to establishing a future joint research program between the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) and UH, Rigoberto Advincula, associate professor of chemistry at UH, has organized a first-ever joint symposium between a Texas research group and the MPI-P held Oct. 18-19 in Mainz, Germany.

"This is a very important collaboration for UH because the MPI-P is the best place in the world to do polymer research," Advincula said. "The institute is recognized by practically everyone in the polymer field, and the reputation of Max Planck Institutes is very high in terms of specific research fields, with one for almost every important branch of scientific field and interdisciplinary research."

In the spirit of renowned physicist Max Planck, a 1919 Nobel Prize winner, who proved time and again that there were new things to be discovered in science, the symposium is hosted by the MPI-P, located on the campus of the Johannes Gutenberg University. It is an opportunity for Advincula, three doctoral students from his polymer group and a research associate staff member to present their research and to visit and meet with the directors of the MPI-P departments. Wolfgang Knoll, director of material science at MPI-P, is leading his group as the other half of this joint symposium.

Advincula and Knoll already enjoy a strong collaborative relationship. In April, the two researchers hosted a symposium on "Nanostructured Materials Based on Polyelectrolytes, Colloids and Nanoparticles in Ultrathin Films" at the American Chemical Society meeting (see http://www.uh.edu/media/nr/2004/03mar/032604radvincula.html), followed by a visit to UH from Knoll, who gave a lecture in the department of chemistry. In addition, they have had a joint postdoctoral fellow since 2000, and numerous individual exchange visits between the two groups have taken place to strengthen collaborations that have resulted in several papers each year since 1997. This will be the first-ever formal joint symposium.

"This exchange of visits and collaborations is in line with creating a future joint research program with the MPI-P that would involve new research directions in polymer materials, future grant submissions and perhaps a joint doctoral program," Advincula said. "Knoll's group is very strong in macromolecular assemblies and biophysics, and we hope to gain more interaction in this area."

New polymers materials have practical applications, such as in coatings, semiconductors, sensor materials for biomedical devices, DNA chip substrates, bioimplant materials and materials for display technologies used in advanced electronics.
-end-
Founded in 1983, the MPI-P followed a recommendation by the German Science Council that an interdisciplinary institution of polymer research should be established in view of the importance of macromolecules in science, technology and industry. The central thrust of the institute is basic research in the field of polymeric materials, with departments in polymer physics, solid-state chemistry, polymer spectroscopy, synthetic macromolecular chemistry, material science and polymer theory.

Along with Advincula, three doctoral students, Jason Locklin, Tim Fulghum and Derek Patton, and a research associate, Akira Baba, will present research at the symposium that includes "Conjugated Polymer Network Approach in Polymer Ultrathin Films: Synthesis, Patterning, and Devices" and "Multiply-bound Polymer Chains: From Synthesis to Surface Properties." The Knoll group will reciprocate with reporting new developments in "Surface Plasmon Spectroscopy and Fluorescence, DNA Hybridization Sensors, Impedance Analysis of Biomimetic Membranes and New Polymer and Nanoparticle Materials for Biosensing."

About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas' premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.

For more information about the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, visit http://www.mpip-mainz.mpg.de/index.html

For more information about UH, visit the university's Newsroom at www.uh.edu/newsroom

To receive UH science news via e-mail, visit www.uh.edu/admin/media/sciencelist.html

University of Houston

Related Chemistry Articles from Brightsurf:

Searching for the chemistry of life
In the search for the chemical origins of life, researchers have found a possible alternative path for the emergence of the characteristic DNA pattern: According to the experiments, the characteristic DNA base pairs can form by dry heating, without water or other solvents.

Sustainable chemistry at the quantum level
University of Pittsburgh Associate Professor John A. Keith is using new quantum chemistry computing procedures to categorize hypothetical electrocatalysts that are ''too slow'' or ''too expensive'', far more thoroughly and quickly than was considered possible a few years ago.

Can ionic liquids transform chemistry?
Table salt is a commonplace ingredient in the kitchen, but a different kind of salt is at the forefront of chemistry innovation.

Principles for a green chemistry future
A team led by researchers from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies recently authored a paper featured in Science that outlines how green chemistry is essential for a sustainable future.

Sugar changes the chemistry of your brain
The idea of food addiction is a very controversial topic among scientists.

Reflecting on the year in chemistry
A lot can happen in a year, especially when it comes to science.

Better chemistry through tiny antennae
A research team at The University of Tokyo has developed a new method for actively controlling the breaking of chemical bonds by shining infrared lasers on tiny antennae.

Chemistry in motion
For the first time, researchers have managed to view previously inaccessible details of certain chemical processes.

Researchers enrich silver chemistry
Researchers from Russia and Saudi Arabia have proposed an efficient method for obtaining fundamental data necessary for understanding chemical and physical processes involving substances in the gaseous state.

The chemistry behind kibble (video)
Have you ever thought about how strange it is that dogs eat these dry, weird-smelling bits of food for their entire lives and never get sick of them?

Read More: Chemistry News and Chemistry Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.