Jérémy BRASSINNE has received the 2015 IMCN Best Thesis Award on May 20, 2016.
His work was entitled "Supramolecular interactions for controlling the structure, selforganization and dynamics of stimuli-responsive polymeric systems".
This Prize, which is granted yearly by the IMCN Institute, rewards the most outstanding PhD work among those who graduated during the previous civil year (2015 in the present case).
A selection Committee chaired by Prof.Sophie HERMANS and composed of one member per pole and the VPR noticed the high quantity and quality of research carried out by Jérémy, as well as his communication skills at various levels (conferences, publications, PhD defense). This initiative aims at promoting excellence in scientific research within the Institute.
In the last years, the advent of supramolecular chemistry has provided chemists with new possibilities to synthesize complex structures and dynamic materials by self-assembly. By virtue of their properties, metal–ligand interactions are particularly promising for the synthesis of supramolecular polymers and the construction of “smart” materials with self-restructuring abilities. Among them, supramolecular gels constitute a very interesting sub-class because of numerous applications in various fields.
In this frame, the goal of this thesis is to gain an unprecedented control over the structure, self-organization and molecular dynamics of polymeric gels by exploiting a novel combination of classical macromolecular architectures and supramolecular interactions of the metal–ligand type.
The first goal of this thesis relies on the synthesis of well-defined copolymers, functionalized with a ligand of interest. These building blocks are then used in the design of supramolecular materials with responsive properties. Precisely, the coordination of metal to ligands is used to link micellar objects, obtained by the selfassembly of covalent block copolymers. The rheological behaviour of the accordingly obtained materials is thoroughly characterized in order to establish relationships between their structure, dynamics and mechanical properties. The present thesis aims at studying in details the response of these systems to external stimuli. These stimuli-responsive properties are inherent to the supramolecular material and further obtained by using stimuli-responsive polymer sequences as building blocks.