Project Area 1: Synthesis

We focus on two strategies of amphiphilic model-network preparation.  One strategy targets at permanent connection of hydrophilic and hydrophobic four-arm star-shaped building blocks with exquisite control on the connection kinetics.  That way, networks can be prepared with rational understanding and control of chemical and physical parameters during the network preparation.  Another strategy is to connect star-shaped building blocks with opposite polarities by non-covalent electrostatic forces between end groups with different and partly switchable charges at the arm ends.  That way, networks are obtained that may alter and adapt their structures to variable environmental conditions.  Comparison of the resulting network structures from the two  preparative approaches will rationally allow us to identify and delimit the role of permanent network defects and inhomogeneities from such that come on top due to nano- or microphase separation in selective solvents.