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Research at the Department of Physical Chemistry II


     

Characterization, conception and practical application of complex and nano-structured liquids and their interfaces define the central research interests of the Regensburg Solution Chemistry Group.

The major focus is on homogeneous, transparent and thermodynamically stable liquids, such as solutions of hydrotropes, electrolytes, surfactants, polymers, bio-molecules as well as Ionic Liquids and micro-emulsions. Other systems such as emulsions, or structured solutions in supercritical carbon dioxide are also investigated. The self-organisation of molecular liquid systems and specific ion effects  in nature and technology are in the center of interest, as well as resulting nanostructures and specific crystallization processes.

    

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To characterize structure, dynamics, reaction kinetics, and thermodynamic properties of such systems, a multitude of experimental and theoretical methods is employed. From the view-point of basic research the interplay between solvation and association, between hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions, is explored to understand the self-organisation of molecular systems and its consequences on the macroscopic properties of the sample. In particular, we are interested in week interactions [240] and spontaneous organization of matter without template.

        

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The gained knowledge is rapidly transferred to applied research. For instance new green solvents and surfactants and environmentally friendly Ionic Liquids are designed, to formulate new products such as powerful, but almost drinkable anti-graffiti sprays, green insect repellents, anti-odorizing products and, more recently new types of biofuels, etc. (see Formulation Chemistry). In the last years, our formulation efforts have been completed by new and also environmentally friendly concepts, systems and processes for effective plant extraction and further processing and valorisation of plant extracts.

                  

Generally, the necessary high-precision equipment is designed and developed by the group in collaboration with the faculty workshops. More sophisticated experiments such as neutron scattering or special microscopy techniques are performed at various international research centres and institutes

   

Please follow the link to take a view from our Equipment and Laboratories

For efficient support in theory and simoulation, we have close collaborations with Prof. Domink Horinek and his group.

In order to transform the obtained knowledge to the design of industrial products or new technical processes, the SKH Company  for applied and technical chemistry was founded in 2000. The firm is recognized as an associate institute of the University of Regensburg. This company also offers services in the field of product formulation, especially of cosmetics, household products and pharmaceutics.

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Awarding of the Gay-Lussac-Humboldt Prize to Werner Kunz at the French Academy of Sciences (October 2015).

Since 2010, the focus of our research is mainly on two areas:    

  • Conception of environmentally friendly solvents, surfactants, and other solubilizers(hydrotropes) and liquid solutions for chemical and industrial processes as well as new sustainable products.
  • Environmentally friendly extraction of plants (essential oils, biopolymers etc.) for the design of highly added value chemicals based on renewable feed stocks (not for fuel production). The vision is a European agriculture that becomes more and more independent of subsidizing and instead produces valuable foods and green chemicals and products.

Our research group is also a member of the 2012 founded Carl-von-Carlowitz Centre of Sustainable Chemistry in our faculty. Prof. Kunz is currently head of this centre. Carl von Carlowitz is supposed to be the first German having used the word “nachhaltig” (sustainable), in 1713.



Pciifure

    

Our current research

can be subdivided into nine topics all related to solution chemistry. Please follow the links below to lern more about specific subjects: