Polymers are, compared to alternative materials with which we shape the world, mainly characterized by their low density, ease of processing and shaping, possibilities of functional integration and an almost unlimited flexibility in molecular design. Moreover they are in most cases relatively cheap. These characteristics determine not only the societal needs for improved polymer systems in a multitude of application areas like protection, isolation, transportation, communication, illumination, packaging, housing, furniture, clothing etc. but also set the controlling scientific questions to be answered within this research area.
The choices made in Eindhoven to focus polymer research are:
- macromolecular synthesis and design using supramolecular chemistry,
- design of structures and advanced structure characterization,
- modelling of structure development and the relation structure-properties.