New Max Planck Partner Group strengthens Sino-German collaboration
The new partner group was established between the Institute of Fundamental and Frontier Sciences at the University of Electronic Science and Technology (UESTC) in Chengdu, China, and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P). The start of the collaboration is granted retroactively from February 2017 onwards.
The partner group conducts research in the field of wetting and examines liquid repellent surfaces. They repel both polar liquids with strong dipole forces, such as water, as well as nonpolar liquids with weak intermolecular forces. The scientists want to use such surfaces to produce multifunctional microparticles without utilizing solvents. One possible application of these surfaces can be found in the field of medicine, more precisely in the production of pills with a controlled release of its active ingredients.
Prof. Dr. Xu Deng who wrote his doctoral thesis at the MPI-P and afterwards continued to work there as a postdoctoral researcher, is a professor at the UESTC’s Institute of Fundamental and Frontier Sciences. He leads the partner group in close collaboration with Prof. Dr. Hans-Jürgen Butt, director of the MPI-P and head of the department “Physics at Interfaces”. “The newly established group offers an interdisciplinary forum for research topics on the wettability of surfaces and enables the MPI-P to further expand its international network,” explains Prof. Dr. Butt.
The Max Planck Society supports the partner group with an annual basic funding of 20,000 Euros for an initial period of three years. This covers expenses for smaller technical equipment as well as travel and personnel costs. After a positive evaluation of the group’s work, the funding can be extended by two more years. Partner groups can be set up with an institute abroad with the proviso that, following a research residency at a Max Planck Institute, top junior scientists (post docs) return to a leading and appropriately-equipped laboratory in their home country and carry out further research on a subject that is also in the interests of their previous host Max Planck Institute. Currently there are five partner groups working together with the MPI-P: two in India, two in China and one in Turkey.