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The first round of SPOMAN Open Science projects are up and running. The projects have been presented and discussed, science has been conducted and the students are getting ready to collect all the new knowledge into a final report. However, even though the students are still in the writing proces, data and results have been available online for many months by now.

All data from SPOMAN Open Science projects are found on the Open Science Framework, ready for everyone to use and comment on.

During spring 2017, 9 students have been working on 6 SPOMAN projects:


Chemical exfoliation and functionalization of graphene (Student: Andreas Brunsgaard Laursen)

Graphene is a rapidly developing area of research as the potential applications are very broad ranging. Graphene poses a range of interesting characteristics, making graphene a relevant material in many very different industries.

Graphene production, however, do pose some challenges. Depending on the use of the graphene, the graphene must be of a certain quality and perhaps functionalized before being incorporated into relevant products or production lines.

The purpose of the project is to make high yields of functionalized graphene in a one-pot process. The functionalized graphene is to be combined with polymer and the material will then be tested. Production and functionalization of graphene in a one-pot process will increase the usability of the graphene.

Data, progress, and status on the project is found here; please, feel free to leave a comment or a question.

Evanescent wave photocatalysis for surface functionalization (Students: Jakob Dall Asmussen, Camilla Lønborg Nielsen, Simon Asp)

Anti-fouling materials are essential in industries ranging from the pharmaceutical industry to the energy industry. Making antifouling materials in a better, smarter, and cheaper way as well as understanding the chemistry and specifications of these materials, are thus very interesting areas of research.

In this research project, materials will be altered by introducing polymers to the surface by evanescent wave photocatalysis. It is unknown whether this process can be controlled sufficiently to create an even distribution of similar polymers on the relevant surfaces. Introducing polymers to the surface will result in a super-hydrophobic surface and thus inhibit attachment of dirt, molecules, or bacteria. The functionalized surface will be analyzed to understand how the chemical processes will affect the chemical properties of the surface, the topography, the surface energy, and the stability.

Thought, results and conclusions on the project is found here; please, feel free to leave a comment or a question.

Reversible Adhesives Based on Catechols and Metal Ions (Students: Asger Holm Agergaard and Mads Blichfeldt Amdisen)

Strong adhesion between different substrates is of highest importance in many different industries and is used both in protection of material-surfaces and in joining different materials together. Often materials are joined by physical joining, but it is also possible to do chemical joining of different materials. Especially when going for waterproof joining of different materials, the chemical approach may be most attractive.

For many applications, it would be an advantage to be able to produce reversible adhesions. The reversibility could allow for a cheaper and easier approach when new coating or adhesions are required. In this project, an electrochemical approach to this challenge is investigated. This system proposes a green and eco-friendly approach to the challenge of making an adhesive that works in water with a reversible character.

Data, progress, and status on the project is found here; please, feel free to leave a comment or a question.

Photochemical metal-free atom transfer (Student: Christina Wulff Damlund Nielsen)

Adhesion of polymer brushes on various substrates is fundamental for many different applications in wide ranging industries. Atom transfer is one of the techniques used to synthesize covalently attached polymer brushes on various surfaces. The process is often based on the use of metals and thus is both expensive and possibly an environmental hazard. However, by removing the metals from the process, the atom transfer can potentially become both cheaper and healthier for the environment.

Metal-free atom transfer has been successfully done using surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP), the method is today, however, not suitable for most production lines. In this project, optimization of the SI-ATRP method is investigated to secure both the adhesion strength and the speed of the process to prime it for industrial use. Upon success, polymerization of more functionalized monomers can be undertaken.

Data, progress, and status on the project is found here; please, feel free to leave a comment or a question.

Nylon Polymer Brushes (Student: Jonas Greibe Hansen)

This project will address challenges from the industry concerning adhesion of nylon on different substrates. Nylon is used in many different applications and a desire to use nylon in combination with other materials has often been expressed. The ability to combine nylon and other materials could potentially reduce both the weight and the cost of many widely-used components.

Polymer brushes are chains or polymers arranged as hairs on a brush on the surface of a material.  The polymer brushes can be attached to both flat surfaces and very curved surfaces. The methods used to attach the polymer brushes depends on the substrates (the polymer and the surface) and on the desired application.

In the SPOMAN project covering nylon polymer brushes the aim is to produce and investigate nylon polymers on either metal or glass using different strategies.

Data, progress, and status on the project is found here; please, feel free to leave a comment or a question.



Self-immolative disulfide polymers (Student: Maiken Berglund Davidsen)

This project is inspired by the self-immolative polymer systems, where the main goal is to synthesize a polymer from DTT with a ketal group, as shown below.


A self-immolative polymer is a polymer which can be triggered by an external signal to depolymerize. It is simply a system which can dissolve on demand.

Normally a self-immolative polymer contains an end cap which stabilizes the polymer. In this project however, the ring strain that is introduced to the molecule whenever the ketal group is present on the alcohol groups is utilized.

By deprotecting the alcohol groups, the ring strain is released, and the polymer might start to depolymerize as a self-immolative polymer.

Data, progress, and status on the project is found here; please, feel free to leave a comment or a question.