Price Winner: Michael Taubländer
Within the framework of his PhD project, he is studying novel synthetic preparation method for various organic high-performance materials which solely employs water under high-temperature and high-pressure conditions as reaction medium. Over the last two years Michael Josef Taubländer and Miriam Unterlass were able to show that these so-called hydrothermal processes are perfectly suitable for generating various organic dyes and pigments as well as different polymers of outstanding properties. While classical methods for generating such substances require toxic solvents and often yield harmful reaction byproducts, the strategies developed by the group of Miriam Unterlass do not pose any risk for environment and health. In fact, these novel techniques can be considered as inherently “green”, since water is the only solvent used as well as the only reaction byproduct formed. Hence, handling and disposal of harmful substances can be completely avoided just by replacing the usual synthetic methods by hydrothermal processes based on high-temperature water. In order to bring the hydrothermally obtained products closer to real-life applications, it is now crucial to study and optimized their further processing. The obtained materials also have to be analyzed regarding mechanical, thermal and various other physical properties.
For doing so, Michael Josef Taubländer intends to spend the award of 4000 € on a research stay at the Tokyo Institute of Technology to intensify the already existing collaboration with the research group of Prof. Shinji Ando. He will additionally attend international conferences and workshops as well as purchase hardware for data evaluation.