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POM image by Kim Kuntze

Smart Photonic Materials (SPM)

SPM is a research group working at the interface between chemistry, physics, and materials science. We are interested in developing functional and stimuli-responsive materials based on polymers and liquid crystals, with particular focus on light-controllable systems and their use in soft robotics, photonics and biomaterials science.

Research focus and goals

Our core activities are visualised in the image below. We aim on one hand at using light to control molecular order (often times using azobenzene photoswitches), and on the other hand at using molecular motions to control the properties of light. We harness light to control function. Of particular interest is to create materials that move in response to light, and surfaces that can be patterned with light. These will be further used in soft robotics, (tunable) photonics, and biomaterials science, acting as a platform with potential unlimited.

Visualization of core activities of the SPM group

We see as our mission the conduction of top-quality fundamental science, yet in fields that we foresee to have the potential to re-shape the technologies of tomorrow. These technologies, in turn, rely in most cases on thorough and comprehensive understanding on the behaviour of advanced functional materials.

Members