Soft materials and polymers

We work on physics and materials science of soft matter, electroactive polymers and oligomers and colloids and materials controlled by external field. Particular focus is on neutron and synchrotron based research. Besides fundamental science our work involves applied aspects and companies in Denmark and abroad.

Current activities

Our on-going research interests focus on

  • Phase behavior and self-organized structure formation of optically active conjugated polymers and oligomers in solutions and the solid state as well as conjugated poly- and oligoelectrolytes and their complexes and colloidal systems

They also include

  • Polymer fibers
  • Polymer gels and hydrogels
  • Antibody-polymer interactions
  • Emulsions and externally controlled colloids and composites

Fig. 1. X-ray diffraction data showing alignment of rigid polymers.


All our work is conducted in terms of international collaboration and our present connections include

  • University of Coimbra
  • University of Wuppertal
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • University of Missouri
  • Institute for Energy Technology
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology

In Denmark we work with

  • DTU Food
  • University of Southern Denmark

Fig. 2. Water soluble conjugated polymers without and with surfactants. Different phase regimes manifest different colors.

Work at large facilities

Virtually all our experimental work is conducted at leading neutron and synchrotron facilities. Current experiments are being performed in Grenoble, Didcot, Hamburg, Lund, Kjeller and Budapest.

Work with companies

Our work has direct relevance to private sector and all our student projects are conducted with top notch companies in Denmark and abroad. Present examples include Amgros I/S and Biomodics ApS in Denmark and Royal DSM in the Netherlands.

Fig. 3. Carbon particles aligned within polymer composite by electric field

Research driven teaching

We are proud of our students who become experts both in materials science and in demanding experimental projects; and project conduct abroad. Our students enjoy good employability and excellent publication record.


Matti Knaapila
Medvejleder for Mathias Zambach
DTU Fysik



Peter Kjær Willendrup
Senior Forskningsingeniør, Specialkonsulent
DTU Fysik
21 25 46 12