Self-Assembled BioInspired Nanocomposites
We design self-assembly processes to mimic the structures and properties found in selected natural load-bearing hybrid materials, such as nacre, crustaceans, wood and silk. They are renowned for their unique combination of stiffness, toughness, strength with leightweightness, and present paradigms for future, lightweight, energy-efficient structural materials.
We are particularly interested in engineering these materials on a molecular level to equip them with supramolecular and photo-active units to reach sacrificial bonds and adaptive mechanical properties that can be modulated from the outside.
In contrast to biological needs, we also target functionalities relevant for the technological world and recently showed unique combinations of transparency with barrier properties (gas, fire, corrosion).