Synthetic polymers are found in such a large variety of products that have shaped modern life. In the future, polymers will continue substituting other materials in established applications and will play a major role in the development of the technologies needed to address some of the 21st Century challenges such as energy, health care and sustainability.
The Basque Center for Macromolecular Design and Engineering is devoted to use-inspired fundamental research on synthesis, assembly and processing of polymers that in concert with theory and simulation enable addressing to these challenges.
In order to develop the materials needed to meet the challenges in energy, electronics, health care and sustainability, new complex systems should be developed through processing, hierarchical assembly and interaction with other materials (biological, inorganic) of precisely designed macromolecules. This requires new knowledge about assembling, interaction with other materials, new processing methods, and high performance characterization methods, but the single most important challenge is to be able to tailor-make the polymers, namely, to achieve a precise control of both the chemical composition distribution (functionality) and the architecture of the polymer chains. This use-inspired research is complemented with theory and simulations. Applications in energy, waterborne dispersed polymers, tuneable and stimuli responsive membranes and polymer for biomedical applications are explored.