Dr. Robert Graf
Robert Graf studied physics at the Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, and graduated in solid state physics on strongly correlated electron systems. He did his PhD work on double-quantum NMR studies of amorphous polymers under fast magic-angle spinning conditions at the Max-Planck-Institute for Polymer Research under the supervision of Prof. Hans Wolfgang Spiess. After completion of his PhD in 1998, he became a staff member of the Max-Planck-Institute for Polymer Research as the group leader of the solid state NMR group.
The local molecular organization is in most novel materials the key for their functional properties. Therefore, these functional properties are very sensitive to sample preparation and environmental influences. In partially disordered materials such as semi-crystalline polymers, nano-crystalline material or supra-molecular assemblies, the local molecular packing arrangement is hardly accessible via common x-ray or neutron diffraction methods and solid state NMR provides unique methods to study the local molecular packing in these systems using high-resolution solid state NMR methods tailored for the special requirements of the analyzed systems. Moreover, the potential of special solid state NMR techniques to monitor molecular reorientations or reorganizations on the milli-second time scale is used to elucidate the molecular mechanisms driving and controlling the self-assembly in supra-molecular architectures.