Kai Zhang, Ph.D.
Junior Research Group Leader
Macromolecular Chemistry and Paper Chemistry, Darmstadt University of Technology
Tel: +49 6151 16-75831
Paper is the most used material in our daily live. Paper has its main components from wood, such as cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin, which allow paper to stay hydrophilic. Although this property is of advantage for many applications of paper, it exhibits also disadvantages in some other fields, e.g. as package materials for liquid food or cosmetics, or it has very limited use in biotechnology. Thus, novel functional papers will be developed with tuned functionalities and switchable properties in response to the surroundings. One possible route is the surface modification of paper with diverse functional groups. By introducing these functional groups, the surface properties of paper can be finely tuned, e.g. with ionic or hydrophobic groups. Another method is the processing of the paper surface with nano-scale compounds containing functional groups that show the potential to be tunable by changing external stimuli, e.g. light or pH values. Paper treated by these ways can be used in many other fields due to its functionalized surface, e.g. as biomaterials or as biosensors.