ESR09 - University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany

Title: Highly ordered nacre-inspired vitrimer nanocomposites with light-adaptive properties


The project aims at the development of bioinspired vitrimer nanocomposites embedding highly ordered 2D nanoclays in different vitrimer matrices to afford nacre-mimics with lamellar structures at high fractions of reinforcement (> 50 wt%) upon evaporative self-assembly. The candidate will design and synthesize different vitrimer materials with a focus on different vitrimer exchange reactions using polymer chemistry tools, and study in detail their mechanical behaviour. By embedding photo-responsive elements we aim for an understanding how such materials can be made light-switchable. Areas of application are adaptive mechanical materials and switchable adhesives that will be investigated for their applicability for windscreen applications in the automotive industry.

Expected results:

The candidate will develop vitrimer-based nacre-inspired nanocomposites with broad structural variety that can be crosslinked on demand after casting. On a nanocomposite level, understanding of the mechanical property space of artificial vitrimer nacre dependent on type, amount and temperature response of molecular exchange reaction. He/She will understand how molecular energy dissipation mechanisms (bond exchange dynamics) need to be tuned in nanoconfinement to allow for synergistic mechanical properties. He/She will also develop light-responsive vitrimer nanocomposites and study their switchable mechanical and adhesion properties. These new materials will be applied as repositionable adhesives suitable for the automotive industry (i.e. any component attached to the windscreen such as mirror buttons or sensors) that can be debonded-on-demand after localized heating.

Apply to this position


Prof. A. Walther


Ehu Logoa 1  Oribay Logo
University of the Basque Country - San Sebastian, Spain Oribay Group Automotive - San Sebastian, Spain


Institute for Macromolecular Chemistry - Stefan Meier Str. 31
79104 Freiburg, Germany -