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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 techniques, the characterization of instruments, their calibration and verification, and their experimental exploration for the study of polymer-based materials. It is supported by finite element modelling of the heat transfer in the instruments.

Projects

 Nanostructuring, morphological stability, and mechanism of charge transfer in conjugated polymer/fullerene blends for organic photovoltaic cells. An experimental and theoretical study

Nanostructuring, morphological stability, and mechanism of charge transfer in conjugated polymer/fullerene blends for organic photovoltaic cells. An experimental and theoretical study

The aim of this project is to contribute to the fundamental insights into the mechanisms and criteria that affect the efficiency and stability of 'exciton' solar cells, based on the 'bulk heterojunction' concept. In this type of photovoltaic cells, foto-induced excitons (hole-electron pairs) that are formed in a donor phase of a phase separated system, must diffuse towards the (nano)interface ...

RheoDSC – Development and experimental exploration of a hybrid analytical technique for simultaneous rheological and calorimetric measurements

RheoDSC – Development and experimental exploration of a hybrid analytical technique for simultaneous rheological and calorimetric measurements

To study transformations involving changes in both rheological and thermal properties and to study the influence of flow and flow-induced transitions, a hybrid experimental technique allowing for simultaneous rheometric and calorimetric measurements was developed. The project started from the design and development of a prototype RheoDSC, supported by numerical modelling of the heat transfer and ...

Phase behaviour and rheology of solutions and blends of conjugated polymers

Phase behaviour and rheology of solutions and blends of conjugated polymers

The goal of this project is to get insight in the fundamentals of the solution and phase behaviour of conjugated polymers in specific solvents, on the one hand, and to extend this knowledge to the rheological behaviour under shear or extension, on the other hand. This is extended from solutions of conducting polymers to mixtures of conjugated polymers with fullerene derivatives. These material ...

Towards dynamic preventive self-restoring of thin films based on photo-reversible covalent networks

The objective of this project is the synthesis, characterization, and optimization of novel thin cross-linked polymer films with multiple reversible covalent bonds. Such films could find application as a sustainable self-restoring alternative for regular surface coatings prone to fatigue- and micro damage, thus reducing the use of raw materials and the emission of harmful components into the ...

RAtional DEsign of blends for bulk heterojunction SOLar cells (RADESOL)

RAtional DEsign of blends for bulk heterojunction SOLar cells (RADESOL)

The main goal of the project is to unravel nanomorphology formation at the molecular level and its effect on device performance beyond the state-of-the-art by an integrated experimental effort and a unique combination of equipment and expertises, aiming at the study of blends via advanced thermal analysis, solid-state NMR, and X-ray diffraction and ptychography 3D imaging techniques, combined ...

Self-healing polymer networks based on thermoreversible covalent bonding

Self-healing polymer networks based on thermoreversible covalent bonding

A new class of polymeric materials has been developped by introducing reversible covalent bonds into covalently cross-linked polymer network systems, resulting in reversible covalent polymer network systems (RCPNS). In this project the reversible covalent bonds are thermally reversible bonds, e.g. by means of the Diels-Alder reaction between furan and maleimide function groups. Polymer ...

Phase separation kinetics of aqueous polymer systems by means of modulated temperature DSC

Phase separation kinetics of aqueous polymer systems by means of modulated temperature DSC

The phase behaviour of thermo-responsive aqueous polymer systems was studied by means of Modulated Temperature DSC (MTDSC). The systems investigated in this work display an LCST-type of demixing behaviour around physiological temperatures, which makes them appropriate for biomedical or pharmaceutical applications, like controlled drug delivery. A new analysis methodology was developed using ...

Molecular mixing in bulk heterojunction organic solar cells - nanomorphology vs performance

The photovoltaic behavior of organic bulk heterojunction (BHJ) blends of conjugated (donor) polymers and fullerene (acceptor) derivatives has been subject of many studies in fundamental chemistry and physics since its initial discovery in 1995. From the general understanding at this moment, the nanomorphology of the active layer blend seems to be crucial. The latter is the result of a complex ...