ERC Advanced Grant for Hans-Jürgen Butt

Research project investigates the charging of liquids

April 06, 2020

Hans-Jürgen Butt, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, has been awarded a prestigious ERC Advanced Grant with his research idea. This was the second time that he was successful. His research project will investigate the electrical charging of drops by sliding over surfaces in more detail.

Everyone knows the effect of triboelectricity: When two solid bodies rub against each other, they become electrically charged. Often this happens in winter, particularly in dry air. Less well known is that there is a similar effect when water drops glide over surfaces. Under certain conditions, charges remain on the surface. This effect is still largely unexplored. Open questions are for example: How strong is the charge separation? Does it lead to corrosion? Can the charges trigger subsequent chemical reactions? Can charge separation be used to generate electricity?

With the application to the European Union, professor Hans-Jürgen Butt, Director at the MPI for Polymer Research, was able to raise research funds to investigate this effect in more detail.

"I am very pleased that the European Union has selected our research project for funding. With the money flowing to Mainz, our research is secured for the next five years", says Hans-Jürgen Butt.

About Hans-Jürgen Butt

Hans-Jürgen Butt was born in Hamburg in 1961. From 1980 to 1986 he studied physics in Hamburg and Göttingen. After his diploma thesis, he received his doctorate from the Max Planck Institute for Biophysics in 1989. After a year as a postdoctoral fellow in Santa Barbara, he returned to Germany to the Max Planck Institute for Biophysics and habilitated in biophysical chemistry in 1995. In 1996 he was appointed associate professor at the Institute of Physical Chemistry at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz and in 2000 full professor at the University of Siegen. In 2002 he received a call from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research. Since then he has been director of the group for Experimental Physics of Interfaces.

About the ERC Advanced Grants

The ERC Advanced Grants are awarded by the European Research Council (ERC) since 2008. Applications are open to scientists who lead independent groups and have at least ten years of excellent research. On average, around 2000 of them apply for funding each year. The competition for funding is highly competitive: this year, only 185 of the 1881 applications submitted were successful.

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