DWI's activities focus on five research programmes, each of which addresses key questions for the development of new active and interactive material properties. We work in these areas across groups and bundle the competencies of our scientific leaders in order to exploit interdisciplinary synergies.
In the research program ‘Synthiofluidics’, the scientists at the DWI — Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials are developing new processes or new chemical methods for producing building blocks for active and interactive materials and are optimizing existing processes. Hereby numerous functional components emerge that form an important foundation for material developments in the other research programs. On the pathway towards generating new material building blocks, the scientists have to tackle many chemical challenges: For example, how can particles be produced which are not simply round but rather have a special asymmetric shape? How can particles or capsules with the exact same shape be made? And how can artificial polymer networks with separate inner spaces be created similarly to an animal or plant cell? These compartments can then function as containers or as micro-reactors. For this, the scientists use microfluidic techniques with which they can control the behavior of the applied gases and liquids in the smallest space. Moreover, they exploit self-assembly processes with which the particles assemble themselves to superordinate structures. Also the additive manufacturing, with resolutions down to the nanometer range, plays an important role here.