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Travel Report South Korea: "Synchrotron Radiation in Polymer Science (SRPS) conference” September 2018

Marc Gensch at the SRPS conference in Gyeongju, South Korea. Photograph:Private.

Marc Gensch, PhD student at Campus Bahrenfeld, received a PIER travel grant and went to the "Synchrotron Radiation in Polymer Science (SRPS) conference” which took place in Gyeongju from the 4th to the 7th of September 2018. Here is his report.

PIER partially funded my trip to the “the Synchrotron Radiation in Polymer Science (SRPS) conference” which took place in Gyeongju from the 4th to the 7th of September 2018. Gyeongju was the former capital of South Korea which has still a lot of important historical sites to understand the today´s Korean culture. The conference was the first combined conference between the SRPS and the Grazing incidence small angle scattering (GISAS) conference, having nearly 200 participants in total. Therefore the topics of the combined conferences covered a broad range from polymer thin film applications to the methods to investigate these polymer thin films. Thus, it was a perfect opportunity for me to obtain knowledge from the polymer science and the GISAS side, as I combine both worlds in my PhD thesis; in particular polymer thin films for applications in solar cells, transistors or electronic devices were presented. The main advanced method of investigation presented in-depth during the conference GISAS 2018 was grazing incidence small angle x-ray scattering (GISAXS). This advanced method allows to investigate such thin films and complex structure in operando and during fabrication, which is exactly the aim of my PhD thesis. The SRPS conference included a lot of interesting talks about organic thin films for future technologies, as for e. g. photovoltaic or transistor applications. I would like to mention two very inspiring talks for me. First of all, the talk by Prof. Christine M. Papadakis (TU München, Germany) on morphological changes of block copolymer thin films during solvent vapor annealing, which were investigated in situ with GISAXS. The second very inspiring talk was given by Prof. Myungwoong Kim about synthesis and characterization of block copolymers with a high interaction parameter, which is beneficial for the phase separation of the polymers. The organizers gave me the opportunity to present my work in front of an internal audience of renowned experts in polymer science and GISAS. They were very interested in my work combining morphological properties of nanostructured metal films obtained from in situ GISAXS during sputter deposition combined with the observation of electrical properties by measuring the conductivity of my polymer thin films in situ during metal deposition. From the audience I got a lot of knowledge about polymer thin films and their preparation, which will help me for my future work. This fruitful conference 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 thin films technology. During the conference I expanded my knowledge about polymer thin film materials and their characterization methods.

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