vub wapenschild

Physical Chemistry and Polymer Science @ VUB

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Maxime Defour Invited Speaker for Instituto Cervantes and CEBE

Maxime Defour Invited Speaker for Instituto Cervantes and CEBE


Instituto Cervantes and CEBE (Spanish Scientists in Belgium) organize a round table to discuss the potential of solar energy. They will host a set of panellists who will give us an insight on the matter from an artistic, social and scientific point of view. Thanks to Ruben Salgado’s photographies– which will be part of the first photo festival Brassage Photographique in Villiers- they will be able to realize the lives of inhabitants of remote areas who, for the first time, have access to electricity through the power of solar energy. Photovoltaic cells are devices that convert the energy of light directly into electricity. Maxime Defour – who does a PhD on this subject at VUB- will introduce the state-of-the-art for low-cost solar cells such as organic solar cells.

Selected Research Topicsgo to research


Thermosets (epoxy, polyurethane, polyester, ...) are characterized by a macromolecular network architecture of high crosslink density and have a glass transition temperature beyond the application temperature. The network formation might be triggered by heat, light, atmospheric plasma. The following aspects are studied: reaction mechanism, cure kinetics and modelling, reaction-induced structure ...

Organic photovoltaics

The main objective is to achieve a more profound understanding of the OPV blend nanomorphology-performance relationship by means of the physicochemical characteristics of the active components (solubility, molecular weight, polydispersity, aggregation phenomena, crystallization kinetics, kinetics of phase separation). Unravelling this relationship provides a fundamental toolbox to engineer the ...

Self-healing polymers

Self-healing polymers are smart stimuli-responsive materials eabling to restore properties to avoid damage. As an example, self-healing polymers should undergo mechanical healing in response to an applied stimulus. Such healable polymers and composite materials offer the ability to prolong the functional lifetime of their resulting structures and coatings.

Advanced thermal analysis

The FYSC research team is contributing to the international progress of thermal analysis for materials' characterization, especially in the field of Modulated Temperature DSC (MTDSC), spatially localised thermal analysis (Micro-TA and Nano-TA), (ultra)fast thermal analysis (Rapid-scanning DSC and Chip Calorimetry) and hyphenated thermal techniques (Rheo-DSC). This work involves the development of ...

Selected Publicationsgo to publications

Patil N., Skjonsfjell E.T.B., Van den Brande N., Panduro E.A.C., Claessens R., Guizar-Sicairos M., Van Mele B. and Breiby D.W.X-Ray nanoscopy of a bulk heterojunction,PloS one,11(7): e0158345,2016 (JUL).
Block C, Watzeels N, Rahier H, Van Mele B and Van Assche GRheology of nanocomposites,Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry,105(2): 731,2011 (Aug).