Investigation of hydrogels and cryogele with single molecule spectroscopy: new synthesis methods for in-situ characterization at the molecular level.

01 January 2010 → 31 December 2015
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Organic chemistry
single molecule spectroscopy
Project description

In this interuniversity and multidisciplinary project, the synthetic expertise of the UGent group (Du Prez) will
be combined with the single molecule spectroscopy (SMS) expertise of the KULeuven group (Hofkens) for the
set-up of a fundamental project in which on one hand hydrogels and cryogels with comparable compositions
will be prepared by respectively free radical, controlled radical and click chemistry methodologies and on the
other hand the network heterogeneities and degradation aspects will be followed in-situ during synthesis and
degradation by several SMS-techniques. The elucidated relationships between the followed synthetic strategies
and the corresponding gel properties on a molecular level will be cross-checked with several macroscopic
properties as a function of the envisaged applications.
For the execution of this project, four work packages have been defined: 1) In-situ following of hydrogel and
cryogel synthesis; 2) in-situ degradation study of cross-linked structures in which several types of degradable
functionalities are incorporated; 3) Investigation of the distribution of catalytic sites in ligand-functionalized
cryogels and 4) on-line investigation of diffusion of growing polymer chains, made by ATRP with cryogels as
catalytic support.