Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry

Supramolecular Polymer Systems

Research activity in the group is focused on physical and physico-chemical studies of supramolecular structures in systems containing homopolymers, block and statistical copolymers in bulk or in solutions. Gels and dispersions of polymeric nanoparticles are also investigated.

Special attention is paid to the processes of phaseseparation, association, complexation and to the creation of micelles, nanoparticles, nanocapsules including self-organization processes on microscopic, mesoscopic and macroscopic levels. We investigate the structure and dynamic properties of various systems as well as the kinetics of structure creation or dissolution.
We investigate physical and physico-chemical properties of various supramolecular systems constructed from polymers, block and graft copolymers, and gels in bulk, the solid state and in solutions of simple or complex solvents. In particular we study:

a) the kinetics and dynamics of polymer systems during phase-separation, intermolecular association, micellization and complexation,
b) processes of self-organization on the molecular level,
c) polymers reacting to external stimuli, such as temperature or pH.

Phase-separation on the microscopic and macroscopic levels is important for many technical and medical applications. We study the kinetics of these processes which follow the route to the steady state of the system and the dynamics of these systems influenced by the microscopic motions of its individual components. This mobility often determines the macroscopic properties which are important for applications.

We also investigate the creation and evolution of self-organized structures in polymer mixtures and their microphase and macrophase separations. These systems include blends of block copolymers differing in chemical block composition, their architecture, systems with a crystalizable or stereotactic block and multiblock copolymers. The mixtures are investigated both in bulk and in solution, including solution in a mixture of solvents, in dilute or concentrated conditions . The aim is mastering the process of self-organization in polymers and copolymers leading to nanostructured materials for nanotechnology and biomedical applications.

Our group operates several advanced experimental techniques: static and dynamic light-scattering, time-resolved light-scattering, static birefringence, measurement of zeta-potential and electrophoretic mobility, electron paramagnetic resonance, small-angle and wide-angle X-ray scattering, isothermal titration calorimetry.

A recently added facility for the group is a radiochemical laboratory for the synthesis and characterization of polymers and polymeric nanoparticles labelled with radioactive atoms. Such systems are used in particular in radiodiagnostics of tumours and are very promising in the associated radiotherapeutic techniques. We prepare polymers for radiodiagnostic and therapeutic applications and supramolecular structures based on them.The characterization facilities of this laboratory include various radiometry instruments (quantity and energy of radiation).