Collaborative research centers

The Cooperative Research Centre (SFB) 1176 'Molecular Structuring of Soft Matter'


The Cooperative Research Centre (SFB) 1176 'Molecular Structuring of Soft Matter' investigates the design of highly defined macromolecules.

The building blocks, i.e monomers, of macromolecules are arranged along a (one-dimensional) chain. However, their alignment in or on an (inter)phase is also of significant importance. In addition, the spatial alignment of the building blocks in networks, resulting in specific material properties, is of significance. The function of the macromolecular materials is primarily determined by their molecular structure and the thereof resulting spacial arrangement and linkages. This molecular structure can be the sequence of the monomers along the chain, the uniformity of the chain-length (i.e. the dispersity) or the degree of branching within the macromolecule. The precise placement of functionalities along the chain can determine and regulate the behavior of the chain in solution – the so-called coiling behavior. Surfaces can consist of repeating units or be decorated with macromolecules, which impart specific function to the surface. In a polymeric network, the complex properties of the resulting material are determined by the length of the single mesh as well as by the sequence of the building blocks of functionalities.


The Cooperative Research Centre 1176 has the aim – within the scope of defined and well-founded problems – to synthesize polymeric materials with a so far unmatched degree of structural control in three dimensions.

In doing so, the targeted molecular weight, precise control of a defined function as well as control over dispersity will be established. The focus on the molecular structure of soft materials by a dimensional organizing principle – determining the function – opens the possibility to classify the synthetic challenges as well as to transfer the scientific findings from one to the next dimension.


Further information here