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A team with analytical scientists Govert Somsen (VU), Peter Schoenmakers, and Ron Peters (both UvA) has received funding of 1.7 million euro for their UNMATCHED project focusing on the development of new analytical techniques for advanced polymers. The researchers, who collaborate in the Centre for Analytical Sciences Amsterdam (CASA), team up with researchers from the companies DSM, AkzoNobel and BASF.

The proposal was granted by NWO-ENW in the Chemical Industrial Partnership Programme (CHIPP) from the Innovation Fund for Chemistry.

Understanding complex polymer materials

UNMATCHED is an acronym for UNderstanding MATerials by CHaracterizing Essential Distributions. It aims to develop innovative highly-selective analytical methods for enhanced separation and detection of complex (bio)polymers.

Many modern (bio)materials are composed of polymers. Today, increasingly smarter chemical strategies are developed to make more and more complex polymer molecules, which comprise multiple structural distributions. Current analytical methods are not able resolve this molecular diversity. As a consequence, polymer structures cannot be correlated adequately to functional properties. The results from the UNMATCHED project will aid in better understanding of polymer properties and function, and ultimately in the production of more sophisticated polymer materials.

Four PhD students and two postdocs

The total budget for UNMATCHED is 1.688 million euro, of which 750,000 euro is funded by the industrial partners. A coherent team of four PhD students and two postdocs will work in both VU and UvA laboratories. They will also be seconded for substantial periods to the company labs, with a focus on implementing newly developed UNMATCHED systems in industry.

The UNMATCHED team. From left to right: Govert Somsen, Peter Schoenmakers, Ron Peters. Image: HIMS.

Centre for Analytical Sciences Amsterdam