Center for Advanced Soft-Matter Studies (CASM)
Materials properties are not only determined by their chemical composition. Very often, the way of processing is of great importance if not decisive for the resulting materials’ properties. This is especially known for soft-matter systems, which are governed by a rather delicate balance between entropic and enthalpic contributions. Consequently, the thermodynamic principles of non-equilibrium processes have been in the focus of materials researchers, resulting in many sophisticated manufacturing protocols for every-day materials. However, in almost all of these studies, the focus has been on an understanding of macroscopic effects related to non-equilibrium processes. At CINEMA, scientists from the departments of chemistry and physics as well as from the Max Planck Institute for polymer research aim at developing a molecular level understanding and control of non-equilibrium processes in soft matter systems. This constitutes a complementary approach to existing efforts as it explicitly starts at the molecular scale.