Advanced & Macro Awards 2019

The Macro & Advanced Awards of 2019 in chronological order:



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Macromolecular Colloquium | Freiburg, Germany | 20-22 February 2019
Two prizes for the best poster presentations were sponsored by the Macromolecular Journals. The prizes were awarded to:

Tassilo Gleede from the Max-Planck-Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany;

Tassilo Gleede (middle) awarded with Freiburg Poster Prize sponsored by Wiley from Stefan Spiegel, right. On the left is Andreas Walther.

Living Anionic Polymerization of Aziridines Tolerates Water and Gives Fast Access to Amphiphilic Multi-Block Copolymers

The poster summarised the efforts to establish sulfonamide-activated aziridines as a novel monomer family with different (functional) groups, for the living anionic polymerization. A systematic investigation of the polymerization showed a unique tolerance against water, which is very untypical for living anionic polymerizations. The authors’ possible explanation for this are the electron withdrawing sulfonyl groups that increase the acidity of the active chain end – and as a result it becomes robust against protic solvents. Furthermore, the poster illustrated for the first time the simultaneous copolymerization of ethylene oxide and aziridines in a one-pot approach. This reaction results in a fast and efficient synthesis of amphiphilic block copolymers without tapering effect. The authors believe that the anionic polymerization of aziridines will provide straightforward access to novel polyamides and –amines with interesting properties for many applications.


Tobias Johann from the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany (click image to enlarge).

and to Tobias Johann from the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany;

Hydroxamic Acid Functional Polyethers: A Versatile Class of Polymeric Chelators for Surface Coating and Medical Application

The authors developed an approach to synthesize hydroxamic acid functional polyethers, starting from hydroxamic acid bearing initiators for the oxyanionic ring opening polymerization of epoxide monomers. It was shown that these polymeric chelators possess the same complexation properties as low molecular weight hydroxamic acids, albeit with lowered toxicity. Hence, the combination of hydroxamic acids with polymers is a promising alternative to catechols with similar applicability, permitting high oxidative stability. The hydroxamic acid functional polyethers offer promise for iron-depletion therapies, biomedical purposes as well as materials science and surface coating.


International Conference on Perovskite Solar Cells, Photonics and Optoelectronics (NIPHO19) | Jerusalem, Israel | 25-27 February 2019
Two prizes for the best poster presentations were sponsored by the journals Advanced Energy Materials and Solar RRL. Respectively, the prizes were awarded to:

Johannes Sutter from the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin in Germany;

Johannes Sutter (right) receiving the poster prize from Lioz Etgar.

Light Management Nano-structures for Perovskite Silicon Tandem Solar Cells

Tandem solar cells that combine the materials perovskite and silicon are promising candidates for power conversion efficiencies above 30%. To take advantage of the tandem structure there must be an optimization of light management at the interface of the device. For silicon solar cells, KOH etched random pyramid structures are commonly used as light management texture. However, conventional pyramids cannot be applied on a silicon bottom cell in combination with spin coating as perovskite deposition method due to their structure size. Johannes Sutter’s poster showed the development of tailor-made light management nano-structures at interfaces in perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells. The resulting structures are compatible with the spin coating of perovskite materials and at the same time they show low reflection losses as well as  high electronic properties.


and to Sampson Adjokatse from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands;

Scalable Fabrication of High-Quality Crystalline and Stable FAPbI3 Thin Films by Combined Doctor-Blade Coat and Cation Exchange Reaction

Deposition of Formamidinium lead iodide (FAPbI3) perovskite films from a solution containing PbI2 and FAI or by sequential deposition of PbI2 and FAI typically leads to the formation of films with a poor morphology and unstable crystal structure. Sampson Adjokatse showed on his poster the deposition of 2D 2-phenylethylammonium lead iodide (PEA2PbI4) thin films by using a scalable doctor-blade coating technique. The structural, morphological and optical properties of the converted 3D FAPbI3 perovskite films have been investigated as well. The converted FAPbI3 thin films are compact, smooth, highly oriented and exhibit better structural stability in comparison to the directly deposited 3D films. These results not only underscore the importance of the employed deposition techniques in the formation of highly crystalline and stable perovskite thin films but also reveal a strategy to easily obtain very compact perovskite layers using doctor-blade coating.


International Conference on Interfaces in Organic and Hybrid Thin-Film Optoelectronics | Valencia, Spain | 5-7 March 2019

From left to right: Michele Sessolo (University of Valencia), Jolke Perelaer (Wiley), Sara Marina, Natalie Stingelin (Georgia Tech, USA), Karen Strassel.

The journal Advanced Materials Interfaces and Solar RRL sponsored two prizes for the best poster presentation at the INFORM conference in Valencia, Spain, in March 2019. The prizes were awarded to Karen Strassel from the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Switzerland, and to Sara Marina from the University of the Basque Country, Spain.


The winning poster of Sara Marina.

Sara Marina, Amaia Iturrospe, Liyang Yu, Arantxa Arbe, Christian Müller, Natalie Stingelin, Jaime Martin
POLYMAT, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, Joxe Mari Korta Centre, Avda. Tolosa 72, 20018, Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain

Unravelling the Microstructure and Thermotropic Phase Behavior of the Non-Fullerene Acceptor ITIC.

A major breakthrough in organic photovoltaics was recently accomplished with the synthesis of the A-D-A type non-fullerene acceptor (NFA) so-called ITIC. Power conversion efficiencies over 14% were achieved when blended with the suitable donor polymers. Nevertheless, ITIC-based devices are too frequently processed applying an Edisonian trial-and-error approach, which hinders the development of more refined molecular architectures and thus slows down the progress of the field. The application of these processing approaches is – at least in part – due to a clear lack of knowledge of the most fundamental structural features of ITIC-based materials, e.g. its crystallinity, stable crystalline forms, phase transition temperatures, etc. The poster of Sara Marina provided the understanding of the microstructural features of ITIC and showed the way for the design of very-much-needed knowledge-based processing protocols for non-fullerene organic solar cells.


Advanced Polymers via Macromolecular Engineering | Stellenbosch, South-Africa | 15-18 April 2019

A prize for the best students’ presentation was sponsored by the Macromolecular Journals. The prize was awarded to:

Kristina Pflug from University of Hamburg, Germany;

Winning poster prize award by Kristina Pflug (second from the left) (click image to enlarge).

Closing the Circle of Microstructure and Polymer Properties for Polyethylene via a Combined Analytical and Modelling Approach

The properties of polymeric materials strongly depend on the underlying polymeric microstructure, such as molecular weight distribution and branching. The microstructure in turn is formed during the polymerization process and is thus directly determined by reaction conditions. In order to link the process conditions of low-density polyethylene polymerization directly with the respective polymer and processing properties, a combined analytical and multi-scale modelling approach was developed. It was successfully validated via mini-plant experiments and comprehensive analytics.  Finally, shear as well as extensional rheology as processing characteristics can be predicted based on process conditions only. This does not only give a more detailed insight into the link of microstructure and flow properties, but also enables simulation-based process optimization and product design in the future.


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