Department of Chemistry

Covestro Distinguished Lectureship

Covestro LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business with 2016 sales of EUR 11.9 billion. Covestro manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical and sports and leisure industries. The Covestro group has 30 production sites around the globe and employed approximately 15,600 people at the end of 2016.

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2017 Covestro Lectures March 30-31, 2017

Covestro Distinguished Lecturer

Professor Brigitte Voit
Leibniz-Institut für Polymerforschung Dresden, Germany

Since 1997 Brigitte Voit is head of the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry at the Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research (IPF) Dresden, as well as professor for "Organic Chemistry of Polymers“ at Technische Universität Dresden (TUD). In addition, since 2002, she is heading the IPF Dresden, a large public research institute hosting about 480 people, as Managing and Scientific Director. She received her PhD in Macromolecular Chemistry in 1990 from University Bayreuth, Germany, in the field of photoactive polymers. After postdoctoral work in 1991/1992 at Eastman Kodak in Rochester, USA, she joined the Technische Universität München where she received her habilitation degree in Macromolecular Chemistry in 1996. Her major research interest is in the synthesis of new functional polymer architectures by various synthetic approaches covering topics like dendritic polymers, hydrogels, functional block and graft copolymers, as well as biofunctional polymers and functional polymers for optoelectronic applications. Brigitte Voit is very active in the community and in review work (DFG, EC); she is a board member of several polymer (e.g. Kuratorium Angewandte Chemie). For the period 2014/2015 Brigitte Voit had been elected as president of the European Polymer Federation and in 2015 she was awarded with membership in acatech (Akademie der Technikwissenschaften).

Seminar and Panel Discussion (refreshments provided)

Thursday, March 30, 2017
11:00am - 12:30pm

Drs. Jeffrey Dormish & Don Wardius
Coatings Adhesives and Specialties Business Unit, Pittsburgh, PA

Drs. Juan Abreu & Natalee Smith
Polycarbonates Business Unit, Baytown, TX

Covestro Distinguished Lectureship Committee:
Professors Lei Fang (Chemistry), Jaime Grunlan (Mechanical Engineering), Jodie Lutkenhaus (Chemical Engineering) and Karen Wooley (Chemistry)

Robust responsive polymersomes and nanocapsules for biomedical, biotechnological and microfluidic applications: control of multi-functionality and membrane traffic

March 30, 2017
4:00 PM – 5:00PM
2104 CHEM
Reception to follow

Robust, multi-responsive and multifunctional nanovesicles are in high demand not only as cutting edge drug delivery systems and in synthetic biology, but also for application in microfluidic and in bio(nano)technology. Here, responsive nanoparticles based on photocrosslinked polymersomes will be introduced. While pH sensitive polymersomes usually disassemble upon acidification, ours show a definite swelling, since the cross-linked membrane remains intact and allow pH-dependent diffusion of small molecules through the membrane. Thus, cascade enzyme reactions could be carried out under pH control using polymersome-encapsulated enzymes in a one-pot arrangement. In addition, by co-assembly of specifically end-functionalized block copolymers and making use of efficient post-functionalization, heterofunctionalization of the polymersomes on their surface is possible. Thus targeting groups could be introduced into the polymersome membrane which allows using our pH-responsive polymersomes for specific cell targeting and pH induced drug release, and reversible non-covalent approaches have been developed to immobilize polymersome in microfluidic devices. The size of the nanocapsules can be further tuned by switching from the polymersome to a templating approach.

Highly aromatic hyperbranched and linear polymers for optoelectronic applications

March 31, 2017
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
2122 CHEM

The field of organic/flexible electronics is rapidly growing and is influencing significantly our daily life. However, still existing problems like limited performance and long-term stability of large area printed devices leads to a high demand of new innovative polymeric materials. Besides conducting and semiconducting polymers, also the insulating materials in between, the dielectrics, as well as polymers with special optoelectronic properties are of high importance since they determine significantly the cost-effective processability and the final performance of devices like organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) and organic field effect transistors (OFETs). We will demonstrate novel semiconductor polymers that are highly interesting as stable active materials of high performance printed OFETs. In addition, aromatic hyperbranched polymers have been developed as crosslinkable dielectric materials for OFETs and as materials for significantly improving the efficiency in OLEDs by showing Thermally Activated Delayed Fluorescent (TADF) properties or high refractive index (HRI) for increased light out-coupling.

Previous Distinguished Lecturers

Year Lecturer Affiliation
2015 Hiroyuki Nishide Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan
2014 Katharina Landfester Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz, Germany
2013 Frank Caruso The University of Melbourne, Australia
2012 Takuzo Aida The University of Tokyo, Japan