Logo JG-Universität MainzProf. Dr. Axel Müller


Arbeitsgebiete: Andreas Walther

My research interests are focused on the preparation of novel polymeric multicompartment particles, the evaluation of their self-assembly properties in different solvents as well as the exploration of possible fields of applications. The investigations are carried out within the frameworks of the ESF-SONS, ESF-BIOSONS and the MC RTN POLYAMPHI programs. Myself, I am receiving a fellowship of the Bavarian Elite Support Program and I am currently undertaking graduate studies in the Bavarian Elite Network Program “Macromolecular Science”.

My PhD topic both includes synthetic efforts for the preparation of novel polymers by controlled polymerization techniques (anionic and controlled radical polymerization), as well as the characterization of the finally obtained colloidal structures by physico-chemical methods, such as imaging techniques in conjunction with scattering methods. In addition, I am investigating the stabilization efficiency of Janus particles in emulsions and polymer blends, and furthermore the side-selective decoration with inorganic nanoparticles in order to obtain novel inorganic-organic hybrid materials.

One of the main fields of my research is the preparation of so-called Janus particles. These novel particles are distinguished to standard multicompartment particles by their non-centrosymmetric arrangement of the compartments in the corona. Nowadays, we have succeeded in the preparation of Janus particles with different architectures (see Figure 1) by means of the template-assisted pathway using triblock terpolymers.

Overview of possible Janus particle architectures.

Figure 1. Scheme 1. Overview of possible Janus particle architectures.
(a) Sphere , (b+c) cylinders, and (d+e) discs.

Due to the phase-segregation of the corona, novel properties and applications, such as strengthened adsorption at interfaces or the usage of Janus particles as highly selective orthogonal biomolecular probes, can be imagined. Our recently published highlight article in Soft Matter gives further information about Janus particles in general as well as possible applications.

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