Doctoral Candidate

Christian Sproncken

Polymeric materials that interact with ice crystals in a specific manner present new opportunities to control ice growth.


Research Profile

Christian Sproncken conducts his doctoral study at the Laboratories of Self-Organizing Soft Matter (SSM) and Physical Chemistry (SPC). Christian is inspired by nature’s way of tackling ice growth: antifreeze proteins that inhibit ice recrystallization at nanomolar concentration and help organisms to survive in subzero temperature environments. His research focuses on the development of polymeric materials to reduce the undesired formation and growth of ice crystals in solution and on various types of surfaces. His goal is to gain insight in how polymeric materials can be used to hinder ice growth and to develop new soft materials that can be used on larger scale for anti-icing and de-icing applications. Christian uses techniques such as static and dynamic light scattering and small angle x-ray scattering to study self-assembly of polymers. Furthermore, sucrose sandwich assays to study ice recrystallization and home-made setups to study ice nucleation and adhesion are employed.

Academic Background

Christian Sproncken studied Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), where he obtained his master’s degree in 2017 at the Laboratory of Physical Chemistry (SPC). His graduation work under supervision of Prof. Ilja Voets and Prof. Remco Tuinier focused on the formulation of complex coacervate core micelles containing poly(vinyl alcohol), which he showed inhibit ice recrystallization at millimolar concentration. During his three-month internship at Clariant in Frankfurt (DE), Christian performed a rheological investigation of additive influence on the drying time of waterborne dispersion paints. After completing this internship, he returned to Eindhoven in the fall of 2017 to join the group of Prof. Ilja Voets as a doctoral candidate in the Laboratory of Self-Organizing Soft Matter (SSM) and the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS).

Ancillary Activities

No ancillary activities