The Art of Controlling Single Polymer Molecules

PhD defence, Monday, 22 January 2018, Mikael Madsen

2018.01.22 | Rikke J. Ljungmann

Mikael Madsen

Polymers are fascinating molecules that have surely revolutionized our everyday life. Traditional polymers are produced on a multi-million ton scale every year for use in paints, plastics, clothes, etc. More recently, another class of polymers with a very different scope of applications has emerged. Conjugated polymers are based on electronically conducting backbones. This gives rise to the intriguing electronical and optical properties that have made them important materials for organic electronic devices such as LEDs and solar cells. Currently, intense research is focused on optimizing and expanding the use of conjugated polymers. To enable this, there is a need for methods to investigate the fundamental properties of the polymers at the single molecule level.

During his PhD studies, Mikael Madsen has focused on the development of methods for studying individual polymer molecules. To achieve this, he synthesized conjugated polymers carrying brushes of DNA. The DNA brushes enabled isolation of individual polymer molecules on DNA nanostructures, and in this way the conformation of single polymer molecules could be controlled. Two novel polymer-DNA conjugates were synthesized and investigated at the single molecule level. They were both studied independently, but also together on the same nanostructure. This allowed investigation of energy transfer between the two different types of polymer molecules at the single molecule level. Mikael Madsen’s studies can potentially help improve the understanding of energy transfer processes in conjugated polymer molecules and thereby contribute to the development of future optoelectronic devices.

The PhD degree was completed at the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), Science and Technology, Aarhus University.

This résumé was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Monday, 22 January 2018 at 13.15
Place: Building 1593, room 012, the Lecture Theatre, iNANO House, Gustav Wieds Vej 14, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus C.
Title of Dissertation: Controlling Individual Polymer Molecules
Contact Information: Mikael Madsen, e-mail:, tel: +45 6165 7556
Members of the assessment committee:
Professor, MPI Director Tanja Weil, Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Synthesis of Macromolecules Department, Mainz, Germany
Professor Jesper Wengel, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Southern Denmark
Professor Troels Skrydstrup (chair), iNANO and Department of Chemistry, Aarhus University
Main Supervisor:
Professor Kurt V. Gothelf, iNANO and Department of Chemistry, Aarhus University
Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defence is public.
The dissertation is available for reading at the Graduate School of Science and Technology/GSST, Ny Munkegade 120, Building 1520, Rooms 128-134, 8000 Aarhus C.

PhD defence
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Revised 25.04.2018