Materials Chemistry 2017 in Liverpool

Every second year, the advances of materials chemistry are discussed in a fantastic conference of the Royal Chemical Society (RSC). Material is a broad term, and most issues in modern life need materials, be it clothes, mobile phones, energy devices or medicine. No big surprise therefore, that so many researchers of so many fields come together. 5 parallel sessions were offered each day, surrounded by plenary lectures and poster sessions. It was most difficult to make the right choices.
Whereas thermoelectric materials may seem completely uninteresting to the layman (who is probably wondering what I am talking about), novel materials for solar cells seem much important for our future energy supply. In fact, both techniques are interesting to solve our energy problems in future. Solar cells are self-explaining, but thermoelectrica convert thermal energy into electricy which is very interesting for process heat or exhaust gas heat in a car. And both have been the central point of multiple talks. The progresses made for perovskite and dye-sensitized solar cells are very interesting and one concept was presented that enables an indoor application. This means, you can produce energy while reading a book in lamp light!
Another interesting field are applications in the medical area, namely drug delivery, contrast agents, etc. A most inspiring method is the use of “bioink” which includes biomaterials such as cells or enzymes in a printable matrix. This can then be used for concepts like organ-on-a-chip, and, eventually, organ printing.
In the end, I have learned a lot, met very nice people and experienced a most exciting city – Liverpool – celebrating its musical and shiping heritage.

International Conference on Polyol-Mediated Synthesis

Conferences 2016

For my scientific eduction, I will attend two conferences this year: the 2. International Conference on Polyol Mediated Synthesis in Hikone, Japan und the 18. Vortragstagung  der Fachgruppe Festkörperchemie und Materialforschung der GDCh

The first conference has two advantages: I can polish up my (spoken) Japanese again and I will learn a lot about the latest development in the field of nanomaterials. The unique method of synthesizing such materials via polyols allows some control of properties and shape, and therefore provides interesting possibilities. Polyols are alcohols having several OH groups. Diethylene glycol, which has become sadly famous during the wine scandal, would be a simple example. Since this type of synthesis allows for the production of various materials for various purposes, I hope to get a nice insight into the issues that are currently explored.
The lecture meeting in Innsbruck has the motto: “Thick and thin: multi-faceted properties of layered materials”, which already states the focus of this meeting quite nicely. These layer materials could play a role in sensing and energy storage. Another kea issue are new materials for LEDs as well as for catalysis.