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SFB-Transregio 102

Polymers under multiple constraints: restricted and controlled molecular order and mobility


The SFB 102 is a long-term Transregional Collaborative Research Centre working on basic research.
Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, as the coordinating University has applied together with the University of Leipzig for support of this research project. Both Universities are working close together to take advantage of this unique opportunity.

The SFB / TRR 102 is funded by the DFG.

1. Term funded: 01.07.2011 - 30.06.2015

2. Term funded: 01.07.2015 - 30.06.2019

3. Term funded: 01.07.2019 - 30.06.2023

Recent Scientific Highlights

Microscopic characterization of poly(sulfur nitride)

MMicroscopic characterization of poly(sulfur nitride). (E. Amado, N. Hasan et al., Macromol. Chem Phys. 222, 2100113 (2021). Copyright 2021 Wiley.)

MMicroscopic characterization of poly(sulfur nitride). (E. Amado, N. Hasan et al., Macromol. Chem Phys. 222, 2100113 (2021). Copyright 2021 Wiley.)

Poly(sulfur nitride) (SNx) is a unique synthetic polymer as it has the conductivity of metals at room temperature and is the only synthetic polymeric superconductor. In this work, bulk crystals as well as thin films of SNx have been synthesized and investigated. The bulk crystals consist of fibers, which show a microscopic macroscopic twinning. The crystallographic orientation in thin SNx-films was studied by Grazing Incidence Wide Angle X-ray Scattering (GI WAXS). Conductive Atomic Force Microscopy on thin films provides information on the electrical conductivity of SNx crystal together with its morphology in the nm range. The current-voltage (I-V) curves show ohmic behavior indicating the metallic nature of SNx.

Chirality Control of Screw-Sense in Aib-Polymers: Synthesis and Helicity of Amino Acid Functionalized Polymers

Fingerprints of homogeneous nucleation and crystal growth in polyamide 66 as studied by combined infrared spectroscopy and fast scanning chip calorimetry. (Reprinted from M. A. Anton et al., Colloid Polym. Sci. (2020). Copyright 2020 Springer.)

Fingerprints of homogeneous nucleation and crystal growth in polyamide 66 as studied by combined infrared spectroscopy and fast scanning chip calorimetry. (Reprinted from M. A. Anton et al., Colloid Polym. Sci. (2020). Copyright 2020 Springer.)

2-Aminoisobutyric acid (Aib) is an essential amino acid, leading to the formation of peptAibols as microbiologically active peptides and proteins. The formation of helices is crucial for their function, also mediating folding of proteins when present as several crowded units within a longer peptide-stretch. Here, we report on the preparation of disctinct Aib-polymers with ring-opening polymerization. We systematically investigated the helical screw–sense of the Aib-polymers and induced either left- or right-handed screw senses by adding chiral amino acids. Moreover, we were able to switch the chirality of the polymer with light-induced triggers. The here shown transfer of chirality over large distances is exemplary for cooperative behavior in biologically active peptides and proteins, wherein Aib is a functional constituent. The so formed transient helices are highly dynamic, representing an important model system for protein folding and protein aggregation.

Thermophoretic trap for single amyloid fibril and protein aggregation studies

A major difficulty in the investigation of protein aggregation and other macromolecular nucleation and growth processes is the heterogeneity of the ensemble studied, which prevents the direct identification of the contributing processes. Using a sophisticated technique of thermophoretic trapping, we provide a method that eliminates this difficulty by confining individual amyloid fibrils in liquids without any surface attachment. With the help of this technique, we are able to follow the growth process of protein fibrils over time periods of hours allowing the observation of rare events like fibril fracture.

More selected publications

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