prof.dr. R.P. (Rint) Sijbesma - Expertises
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- D13200 - Macromoleculaire chemie, polymeerchemie
- D13300 - Organische chemie
- E16000 - Nanotechnologie
- Organische Chemie
- Supramoleculaire chemie
Rint Sijbesma graduated cum laude from the Rijksuniversiteit Utrecht in 1987. Until 1992 he worked under supervision of prof. dr. Roeland Nolte at the University of Nijmegen, where he obtained his PhD degree in 1992. Subsequently, he moved to the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) to work as a postdoctoral researcher in the group of prof. Fred Wudl on the organic chemistry of C60 (buckminsterfullerene). In 1993, he joined the group of prof. Bert Meijer as a lecturer and started his work on supramolecular polymers.
In 2002, he became senior lecturer, and in the same year he received a ''Pionier'' grant to set up a research line in the area of ‘Functional Self-Assembled Polymers’. In 2006 he was appointed full professor. In his research, Rint Sijbesma tries to bring together the fields of polymer science and supramolecular chemistry. In these efforts, the application of hydrogen bonding takes a central position. The design of synthetically accessible hydrogen bonding units has played an important role in the development in his group of ‘supramolecular polymers’, polymers in which the monomeric units are held together by non-covalent interactions. The ready availability of these hydrogen bonding units and their extremely high binding constants allows the study of many fundamental aspects of supramolecular polymers, as well as the development of this novel type of polymers as promising ‘smart’ materials with commercial applications, presently 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, efforts are 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.
The Supramolecular Polymer Chemistry group is developing a research programme that is aimed at making sophisticated use of specific supramolecular interactions in the design of polymeric materials with functionality on the nanometer length scale. In particular multiple hydrogen bonding interactions and reversible metal coordination are employed in thermoplastic elastomers and in liquid crystalline materials.