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UC.PT

Macromoléculas, Colóides e Fotoquímica

Colloids and Macromolecules

Macromolecules

Within the colloid and macromolecules area, studies are in progress on interaction between metal ions, surfactants, polyelectrolytes and ligands in solution. Novel fibers, soft nanoparticles and new polymeric thickeners are being designed and prepared by improved understanding of the delicate balance between hydrophilic (often electrostatic) and hydrophobic interactions. The Group maintains extensive industrial collaborations, and smart pH- and temperature-dependent polymers are being produced for industrial applications through correct tuning of crosslinking degree, number and location of hydrophobic segments and charge density. Self-assembly of conjugated polymers and polyelectrolytes is being studied for  nanostructuring using changes in structure, solvent and presence of additives, such as surfactants, cosolvents and metal ions. This includes formation of self-assembled surfactochromic structures from cationic conjugated polyelectrolytes and anionic surfactants. Thermal, photochemical and electrochemical synthesis is being applied to synthesis of novel amphiphilic and amphoteric pyrrole based heterocycles for medical, pharmaceutical and environmental chemical applications. This is being extended to development of novel metal-organic frameworks (MOFs).