Material Science group
The Material Science group operates on the synthesis and degradation mechanism of polyethylene terephthalate (PET). To achieve this we work with method spectra of chemistry and material science. In the Focus of our group lays the interaction between the synthetic polymer (PET) and the biological Polymer (enzyme). The team consists of 3 undergraduate chemistry students.
Our group is the intersection point between the Simulation and Degradation groups, we aim to investigate the surface interactions of the used enzymes with different surface structures of PET. Therefore we use atomic-force-microscopy (AFM) and sanning electron microscopy (SEM). With the resulting data we will gain information about the degradation mechanism of different PET modifications. Further on we try to explain how the crystallinity, the surface character of the PET and the used additives (crystal nucleus, plasticizers) influence the degradation process.
First we characterize the PET with light microscope detection and determination the crystallinity. For exact analysis of different PET modifications it is necessary to know their specific compositions. Therefore our group will synthesis pure PET and serveral analogs. The analogs are used for characterizing the enzyme function and kinetics with UV-VIS-detection. To understand the degradation mechanism on the molecular level we analyze the decomposition products with GPC (Gel permeation chromatography).