Recent theoretical and computational developments in the field of smart responsive materials are summarized, together with complementary experimental data. A material is referred to as smart responsive when a slight change in external stimulus can drastically alter its structure, function, or stability. These systems can be used for the design of advanced functional materials. Especially polymer properties in solvent mixtures will be discussed. It will be shown how multi-scale simulations can shed light on the intriguing experimental observations. Special emphasis will be given to two symmetric phenomena: co-non-solvency and co-solvency. The first phenomenon is associated with the collapse of polymers in two miscible good solvents, while the latter is associated with the swelling of polymers in poor solvent mixtures. General design principles of responsive systems will shortly be addressed as well.
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Prof. Dr. Kurt Kremer, Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research
Kurt Kremer joined the Max-Planck Society in September of 1995 as the sixth director of the Max-Planck Institute for Polymer Research, heading the newly established theory group. After studying physics he received his PhD in 1983 from the University of Cologne under the supervision of Prof. Binder, working at the National Research Center KFA Jülich. He performed computer simulations for dynamic and static properties of polymers in bulk and near surfaces. After spending another year at Jülich he moved for a post-doctoral stay to Exxon Research and Engineering Corporation, Annandale, New Jersey, USA, working on polymers and on charge stabilized colloids in collaboration with Drs. Grest, Pincus, and others. Being back in Germany he obtained his Habilitation in 1988 at the University of Mainz. After that he returned to the solid state laboratory of the KFA Jülich as senior scientific staff. He spent several extended visits as visiting professor/scientist at Exxon Research (Dr. Grest), UC Santa Barbara (Materials Dept., Prof. Pincus), and University of Minnesota (Dept. Chem. Engineering and Materials Science, Profs. Davis, Bates, Tirell, and others). After a short stay at the central research department of the Bayer AG, Leverkusen, he moved to the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research.
Kurt Kremer received several awards and recognitions and is member of the German National Academy of Science, Leopoldina.