The Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) is a leading research center in the field of polymer science world-wide. MPI-P have a wide spectrum of expertise – from the creative design of new materials, through their synthesis in the lab to their physical characterization as well as the theoretical understanding of polymer characteristics. The Institute working areas of basic scientific research into the field of polymers are as follows:
- Structure and Dynamics
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Functional Materials and Devices
- Approaches to Synthesis
- Development of Methods
- Supramolecular Architectures
The Faculty of Chemistry, University of Sofia will benefit from the knowledge that could be acquired from the experience and know-how of the researchers in Max-Planck-Institute for Polymer Research in various high levels experimental techniques in particular related to structures and complex phenomena on surfaces and interfaces. Such are the techniques for investigating of surface forces and the dynamics at solid-liquid interfaces (some of them developed in MPIP): atomic force microscopy and confocal optical microscopy, including fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS). An area of obvious overlapping interest is the analysis of the morphology and microstructure of surfaces as well as analyzing the local mechanical and some physical properties. A major activity is the analysis of optoelectronic materials, where the colleagues from the MPI for Polymer science participate in the Graduate School on Self-organized Materials for Optoelectronics. Recently MPI developed a new mode, called torsion tuner, with which the electric conductivity of very soft surfaces can be measured. This was verified by measuring the conductivity through polymer nanorods. Recent development of MPI for Polymers is Kelvin probe microscopy in organic liquids, which increased the accuracy and resolution of Kelvin probe microscopy. These methods could be applied to materials and devices developed in Sofia. Micro-and nanofluidics is also an active area of research in MPI for Polymers. The hydrodynamics of thin liquid films and foam films is also relevant in surface and colloid science in general. In particular two optical techniques, elaborated in the MPI, might help to analyse systems studied in Sofia. These techniques are Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Cross-Correlation Spectroscopy (TIR FCCS) and FCS at liquid-vapour and liquidliquid interfaces to measure diffusion of particles at interfaces.