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Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 33 | 14. Juli 2010
Priority Programme 1369 “Polymer-Surface Contacts: Interfaces and Interphases”

Call for Proposals

In 2007 the DFG established the Priority Programme (Schwerpunktprogramm, SPP) 1369 entitled “Polymer-Surface Contacts: Interfaces and Interphases”. This programme is now opening a call for a second and last funding period (2011–2013).

Interactions between bulk polymers and solids are important for adhesion, coating and (nano)composites.  A crucial role is played by the interface of the two materials, the first few molecular layers where adhesive molecular interactions between the two phases are effective, and in particular the interphase, the part of the polymer, where its properties still differ from their bulk values due to the long-range influence of the adhesive interactions at the contact with the solid. Depending on the polymer-solid combination and the property under consideration, the interphase thickness can range from a few nanometers to several micrometers. The priority programme addresses preparation, characterization and simulation/modeling of polymer-solid systems, which target the qualitative and quantitative understanding of interfaces and interphases including their role for the behavior of the entire system.

The programme is structured into three main areas of fundamental research:

A) Understanding and control of adhesion mechanisms at the interface and of the molecular structure in the interphase: Controlled preparation, experimental characterization and computational elucidation of the interphase at the molecular level.

B) Determination of property profiles in the interphase: Locally resolved (lateral and perpendicular) characterization of polymer properties by experiment and/or simulation, derivation of materials models.

C) Contribution of the interphases to the properties of the entire system: Modelling of the influence of the local variation of polymer properties in the interphase on the behaviour of the (composite) system as a whole; inverse identification of interphase materials functions from macroscopically observed system properties.  Funding in research area C is restricted to projects, which by characterisation or modelling of the entire composite system contribute significantly to the understanding of interphases and which show immediate scientific connections to research areas A or B.

Preference will be given to projects which (1) are complementary (e.g. preparation and characterization, or characterization and theory) (2) and/or which have a bearing on two or three of the above main research areas (3) and/or help to extend the knowledge gained during the first funding period.

Investigated systems are limited to one bulk polymer phase and one solid phase. The following topics are not covered: Development or optimisation of materials for specific applications, adsorption of individual polymer molecules e.g. from solution, biological molecules, molecules of low molecular weight, phenomena such as wear, ageing or fatigue, processes such as metallization or chemical vapour deposition of solids onto polymer surfaces.

Proposals for the final three-year funding period should be submitted on paper (3 copies) and on CD-ROM (including the proposal and all appendices as pdf-files) not later than 04 October 2010. All proposals must be written in English and must be prepared according to the guidelines for individual research grants (1.02e). Submissions, marked as “SPP 1369 Polymer-Surface Contacts: Interfaces and Interphases”, should be addressed to Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Kennedyallee 40, 53175 Bonn.

Further Information

Homepage of the priority programme:


  • Prof. Dr. Florian Müller-Plathe,
    Physikalische Chemie, TU Darmstadt,
    Petersenstraße 20,
    64287 Darmstadt,
    +49 6151-16 65 23,

For information on submitting proposals, contact DGF office:

  • Dr. Georg Bechtold,
    Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft,
    53170 Bonn,
    +49 228 885-2818,