The mission of the Laboratory of Materials and Interface Chemistry is to advance the design of functional and structural hybrid materials through understanding and controlling the chemical and physical interactions between the constituting components. Within the laboratory this is currently pursued along two closely related research lines that comprise "Bio-inspired Materials" and "Multiscale Materials".
The research in SMG takes inspiration from the structures and assembly processes found in natural systems, where bottom up (self-assembly, crystallization) and top down strategies (localized structuring) are combined. These concepts are applied studying systems with close resemblance to biological materials, but also in materials that have no obvious relation to natural systems, such as conducting hybrid materials. Central to the research of SMG is to obtain a detailed understanding of processes and interactions in the formation of soft and hybrid materials, such that eventually structures and properties can be predicted. The work focusses on the fundamental aspects of these materials and the processes for their formation, but also - together with industrial partners - on the possible impact of these principles in technological applications.
To study the development of morphology and structure in such multi-component architectures by chemical synthesis, self-organization and directed assembly we make use of our expertise in advanced electron microscopy (EM). The EM expertise and infrastructure of SMG is organized within the Center for Multiscale Electron Microscopy and is focused on the analysis of soft and hybrid materials.