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Precision Macromolecular Chemistry

Team leader: Jean-François Lutz


The research group “Precision Macromolecular Chemistry” represents a large part of the polymer chemistry know-how of the Charles Sadron Institute. One of the principal objectives of our team is to control the molecular structure (i.e. architecture, microstructure and functionality) and the properties of synthetic macromolecules. Thus, our group investigates the key aspects of polymer synthesis: (i) design of building-blocks for polymerizations (i.e. initiators and monomers), (ii) preparation of tailored macromolecules (i.e. polymerizations, multi-step growth synthesis, macromolecular coupling and modification), (iii) synthesis and characterization of polymer-based materials (hydrogels, colloids, modified surfaces and interfaces) and (iv) polymerization processing (blending, microfluidics).

Tools for macromolecular synthesis:

Solid-phase chemistry, iterative synthesis on soluble polymer supports, phosphoramidite chemistry, oligopeptide synthesis, orthogonal chemistry, free-radical polymerization, controlled radical polymerizations, ring-opening polymerization, step-growth polymerizations, metathesis polymerization, crosslinking, polymerization in heterogeneous media (emulsion, miniemulsion, dispersion), surface-initiated polymerization, flow chemistry, microfluidics, polymerization in confined environments.

Research topics:

Synthesis, characterization and properties of sequence-controlled polymers
Information-containing macromolecules (digital polymers, sequencing)
Single-chain technologies (intramolecular folding, covalent bridges)
Control of the architecture of synthetic polymers (non-linear architectures)
Macromolecular modification (e.g. chain-end and side-chain functionalization, local functionalization)
Surface modification (e.g. macromolecular brushes, grafted networks, surface deposition)
Synthesis of chemically- or physically-crosslinked hydrogels (e.g. bio-applications)
Synthesis of biocompatible and biodegradable polymers (e.g. PEGylation, bioconjugation)
Acrylic-based elastomers for implants (intraocular lenses, artificial meniscus)
Design of stimuli-responsive polymers (e.g. thermoresponsive polymers, polyelectrolytes)
Synthesis of conjugated polymers (e.g. polymer materials for microelectronics)
Synthesis and functionalization of colloidal objects (e.g. latex, organic-inorganic hybrids)
Design of compartmentalized microparticles (controlled drug delivery)