Full Professor

Rint Sijbesma

Group / Unit
Macromolecular and Organic Chemistry
Floor / room

Research Profile

In the research of Rint Sijbesma the focus is on the development of polymeric materials with functionalities on the nanometer length scale, by making sophisticated use of specific supramolecular interactions. In particular multiple hydrogen bonding interactions and reversible metal coordination are employed in thermoplastic elastomers and in liquid crystalline materials. Sijbesma's design of synthetically accessible hydrogen bonding units with extremely high binding constants has led to the development of novel supramolecular polymers. He has studied many fundamental aspects of this new class of materials and initiated the development of promising 'smart' materials. These are currently further developed by the startup company Suprapolix BV. The potential of hydrogen bonding is also employed in thermoplastic elastomers with well-defined bisurea hard blocks. Attractive mechanical properties of these materials and the possibilities for molecular recognition are combined in a number of projects aimed at mechanical alignment of chromophores, immobilization of catalysts, and improved stamp materials for microcontact printing. The use of mechanical forces in polymers to modify parameters such as catalytic activity or magnetic and optical properties is rapidly emerging as a promising new area of research. Presently, Sijbesma is focusing on the use of ultrasound to break coordination polymers in a reversible manner, and on the use of thermoplastic elastomers as the matrix for mechanically induced chemistry.

Academic Background

Rint Sijbesma studied chemistry at Utrecht University where he graduated cum laude in 1987. In 1992 he obtained his PhD at the University of Nijmegen for research into synthetic receptor molecules under the supervision of Prof. Roeland Nolte. The following year he worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Prof. Fred Wudl at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) on the organic chemistry of C60 (buckminsterfullerene). In 1993, Sijbesma joined the group of Prof. E.W. (Bert) Meijer at Eindhoven University of Technology, where he started his work on supramolecular polymers as assistant professor. In 2002, he became associate professor and with a 'Pionier' grant from NWO set up a research line in the area of 'Functional Self-Assembled Polymers'. In 2006 Rint Sijbesma was appointed full professor. 

Educational Activities

  • Standard final bachelor project ST
  • Capita selecta
  • External final bachelor project ST
  • Graduation Project MSMC
  • Physical organic chemistry
  • DBL Molecules and materials

Ancillary Activities

  • Docent Post-doctorale cursus "RPKA", Fast BV/PTN