Calvin Brett at the "MACRO 2018 – World Polymer Congress" in Cairns, Australia. Photograph: Private.
A Graduate Education Program at DESY in Cooperation with Universität Hamburg
Calvin Brett, PhD student at Campus Bahrenfeld, received a PIER travel grant and went to the "MACRO 2018 – World Polymer Congress” in Cairns, Australia and combined his trip with a research visit at the ANU in Canberra, Austraila. Here is his report.
PIER partially funded my trip to the “MACRO 2018 – World Polymer Congress” held in Cairns, Australia as well as a research visit to the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, Australia.
MACRO as IUPAC conference covers topics from polymer design, kinetics in polymerization, polymers in biotechnology, smart/functional polymers, as well as polymer characterization. Especially polymer physics gave me a great insight in different fields of polymers. The program included some very inspirational talks covering smart and functional materials for our future daily life, for example patches monitoring for the humidity/temperature as well as pressure in a polymer thin film transparent and self-healing. Especially the plenary speakers Prof. Zhenan Bao and Prof. Ben Zhong Tang with their spearheading work on functional polymers and their biomedical applications gave me a great outlook on where my research could help understand such materials in future better.
Additionally, the organizers gave me the opportunity to present and discuss my recent work on real-time GISAXS investigation of silver nanoparticle growth on differently functionalized bio-based cellulose nano fibrils. The audience was very interested in our recent work and we discussed future work in this direction. From the discussion I learned a lot on the missing knowledge on the charge distribution on cellulose nano fibrils and how this can change the growth on such.
After 7 days in Cairns following and discussing recent developments in polymer chemistry and materials, I went to Canberra to visit our collaboration partners at ANU. There I worked on the finalization on an international project between Helmholtz centers DESY Hamburg (Prof. Roth) and GSI Darmstadt (Prof. Trautmann), the university of Hamburg (Prof. Rübhausen) and the ANU (Prof. Kluth) investigating the ion track formation in siloxanes and the deformation behavior of such under mechanical stress. At the end of the week I gave at the physics department a presentation entitled “SAXS characterization of swift heavy ion tracks in PDMS” on the results of our project and got some valuable input to improve our current knowledge on the ion track formation and the deformation by using additional characterization techniques as impedance spectroscopy.
As all this would have not been possible without the PIER travel grant, I am grateful for giving me this grant and the opportunity to go and discuss my work with world leading groups in polymer materials. To strengthen my knowledge on polymer materials, understand more on the available characterization techniques for future studies as well as the deep discussions on my and others work.
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