2019 MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit

Symposium Sessions

Symposium SM06—Nano- and Microgels

Nano- and microgels are cross-linked molecular networks swollen by the solvent, in which they are dissolved. Their dimensions range from several hundreds of nanometers to several micrometers. The unique property of the nano- and microgels is their ability to dramatically change shape and volume in response to external stimuli such as temperature, pressure and ionic strength. For a nano- or microgel with a complex shape placed in the gradient of a stimulus field, the volume change is coupled to complex deformation patterns and provides the opportunity to reversibly tune the physical and chemical properties of the nano- or microscalar gel.
Due to the microscopic length scale intrinsic to nano- and microgels, these changes are taking place at the sub-microsecond time scale making them distinct from macroscopic hydrogels. Nano- and microgels provide a combination of structural integrity, high molecular porosity and soft deformability that sets them apart distinctly from other commonplace colloids. These features offer unique combinations of architectural diversity in nano- and microgels enabling integration and compartmentalization of otherwise incompatible chemical functionalities. From a physics point of view, nano- and microgels are particularly intriguing and challenging, since their molecular properties are intimately linked with their surface behavior and inter-colloidal interactions. Their unique properties render nano- and microgels relevant in applications as mediating materials for catalysis, as sensors, as building blocks in micro-robotics and for separation process technology.
This symposium will broadly cover current and emerging questions related to the physical, chemical and material properties of nano- and microgels. The symposium seeks to provide a general overview of recent advances in new design concepts, modelling tools, fabrication techniques and promising applications enabled by these new developments.

Topics will include:

  • Novel nano- and microgel architectures
  • Fabrication of nano- and microgels
  • Physical and chemical properties
  • Characterisation techniques
  • Theoretical and numerical models
  • Applications of nano- and microgels

Invited Speakers:

  • Cecile Monteux (ESPCI, France)
  • Esther Amstad (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland)
  • Anna C. Balazs (University of Pittsburgh, USA)
  • Michel Cloitre (Ecole Superieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles, France)
  • Nicholas X. Fang (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
  • Shi Feng (Beijing University of Chemical Technology, China)
  • Mark Grinstaff (Boston University, USA)
  • Yu Hoshino (Kyushu University, Japan)
  • Shin-Hyun Kim (Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Republic of Korea)
  • Thomas Kodger (Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands)
  • Eugenia Kumacheva (University of Toronto, Canada)
  • Christos N. Likos (University of Vienna, Austria)
  • Martin Möller (DWI - Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials, Germany)
  • To Ngai (Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
  • Igor Potemkin (Moscow State University, Russian Federation)
  • Walter Richtering (RWTH Aachen University, Germany)
  • Brian Saunders (University of Manchester, United Kingdom)
  • Orlin D. Velev (North Carolina State University, USA)
  • Dimitris Vlassopoulos (FORTH Crete, Greece)
  • Regine von Klitzing (Technischen Universitaet Darmstadt, Germany)
  • Andreas Walther (Freiburg University, Germany)
  • Roland G. Winkler (Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany)

Symposium Organizers

Dmitry N. Chigrin
RWTH Aachen University
Institute of Physics (1A)

Alexander J. C. Kuehne
DWI - Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials

Valérie Ravaine
University of Bordeaux
Institute of Molecular Sciences

Joris Sprakel
Wageningen University and Research
Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter

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