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The main objective of the project EURO-SEQUENCES is to design and study polymer materials containing precisely-controlled chain-microstructures. The general scientific context of this project is the development of a new generation of synthetic polymer materials. This topic is, of course, of prime importance for future European Science. Indeed, plastic and polymer industry remains today one of the largest manufacturing industry in Europe. However, the face of fundamental and applied polymer science has drastically changed over the last decades.


Objective 1 (Polymer Chemistry): an important goal of the project will be the development of new synthetic routes for preparing sequence-controlled copolymers. In particular, an emphasis will be put on non-biological methods such as iterative chemistry, template chemistry, and chain-growth polymerization. One important target is the development of high-molecular weight sequence-defined polymers using fast and easy chemical protocols. In order to reach that goal, automatized chemical protocols will be used in several individual sub-projects.
Objective 2 (Characterization and sequencing): The analytical methods that are currently used to analyze sequence-controlled macromolecules (e.g. NMR or mass spectrometry) do not allow, in general, a full molecular description of the chain microstructures. Inspired by methods used for the sequencing of proteins and nucleic acids, new approaches will be studied in this project for the analysis of synthetic macromolecules. In particular supramolecular read-outs and nanopore analysis will be developed.
Objective 3 (Self-assembly and folding): As learned from biopolymers such as proteins, the primary structure of synthetic macromolecules has a direct influence on their folding and supramolecular selforganization. Hence, an important objective of the project will be to use controlled comonomer sequences for preparing folded macromolecular origami. In particular, an emphasis will be put on the folding of individual polymer chains into discrete functional nanoparticles (i.e. single-chain technology).
Objective 4 (Materials and properties): The correlation between primary structure and materials properties will be studied in this project. In particular, the influence of ordered monomer sequences on thermal and mechanical properties (e.g. tensile strength, rupture) of synthetic polymer materials will be examined in detail. The ultimate objective will be the development of precision polymer materials for the plastics industry.

International advisory board:

Prof. Jean-Marie Lehn, University of Strasbourg, France
Prof. Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Prof. Mitsuo Sawamoto, Kyoto University, Japan
Prof. Craig Hawker, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
Prof. David Liu, Harvard University, USA
Dr. Patrick Maestro, Director of R&D, Rhodia-Solvay, France

For more details regarding the individual work packages and projects please contact to the project manager directly.