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Research of the Computational Polymer Chemistry group has developed along two lines: computational studies on the one hand and studies of ageing and deterioration processes in oil paintings on the other hand.

Computational studies

The starting point of most of the computational studies is information regarding the chemistry of the polymerization process (from monomers) or of the modification process (from polymer) in terms of kinetic rate coefficients of the various polymerization reactions. Important microstructural properties are concerned with parameters such as chain length (distributions), copolymer composition, number of branch points and number of functional groups. These microstructural properties are then related to measurable quantities like the radius of gyration and rheological properties.

Polymers with long branches form a class of polymers with a special challenge from a computational point of view. The ultimate goal is to predict the topologies of the branched polymer architectures in terms of connectivity patterns ("star-shaped" or "comb-shaped") and segment lengths from kinetics.

PAinT: Paint Alterations in Time

The PAinT project is part of the Science4Arts Programma (2012-2016) funded by the NWO, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The research concerns ageing, deterioration and migration processes in oil paints related to pigment-binding medium interactions. In a combined approach analysis of paintings of old and early modern masters are linked to scientific experiments on mature oil paint model systems. A better understanding of the underlying mechanisms and is crucial for the evaluation of past and present approaches to the conservation of oil paintings. The project aims to provide an improved scientific basis to guide future conservation strategies.