LOEWE Soft Control

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Scientific Goals:

Macromolecules that can be switched with respect to their conformation in a dynamic and reversible manner by using external triggers such as light, electric or magnetic fields may open a variety of novel implications for advanced applications. If such molecules are confined at interfaces, in particular, “smart polymer films" may become a key-element in the development of “intelligent & tailored surface design”, with possible applications progressing from smart catalytic systems, to smart biofunctional surfaces, and self-healing surfaces.

The Soft Control Initiative comprises 3 partners, the Technical University of Darmstadt (TUD, coordination), the Deutsches Kunstoff Institut (DKI), and the University of Applied Sciences (Hochschule Darmstadt). A total of 10 working groups from Chemistry, Biology, Biotechnology and Physics will take part right from the start of Soft Control in 2011. Besides this, strategic cooperations with the Cluster of Excellence “Smart Interfaces” (CSI), as well as with additional “associate groups” from Biochemistry and Materials Sciences are aimed to further strengthen the expertise of the Soft Control core-areas, as well as increase the visibility of this new initiative.