Please note this conference will now happen in 2022

Invited Speakers

Professor Paola Carbone, University of Manchester, UK

How to tune properties of interfaces with polymers; insight from molecular simulation

The prediction of the adsorption and dynamic properties of polymers at solid and soft interfaces is an important technological and biological problem. Solid interfaces are indeed present in all polymer composites (where particles are dispersed into a polymeric matrix with the aim of improving its mechanical and rheological properties) but also relevant for many applications such as for coating. Polymers adsorb also at liquid interfaces in many industrial processes, such as liquid/liquid extractions, solvent displacement methods, or emulsifications, and also when used for biological applications, such as drug nanocarriers, biocompatibilizers, or protective coatings.

In this talk we will show how multiscale modelling can help in predicting the adsorption properties of polymers at solid surfaces (specifically carbon black) and soft interfaces (liquid/liquid). We will clarify the thermodynamic of adsorption and how the properties of the interface as well as of the bulk polymer change upon adsorption.


Paola obtained her PhD in Materials Science in 2004, followed by a postdoc at the University of Bologna, and a Humboldt Foundation fellowship at the Technical University of Darmstadt. She was awarded an RCUK fellowship and joined the University of Manchester in 2008. Paola’s research focuses on soft matter simulations, and her group specialises in developing new multiscale coupling procedures to link different modelling techniques from quantum mechanics to dissipative particle dynamics. Currently active research areas are: electrolyte/graphene interfaces, polymer composites for industrial applications and surfactant solutions. 

Professor Valeria Arrighi, Heriot-Watt University, UK

Dynamics of ring polymers by neutron scattering: overview and recent developments



Valeria graduated in Pure Chemistry from the University of Padova, and received her PhD in Polymer Science in 1992 from Imperial College London. Following a postdoctoral fellowship also at Imperial, she joined the faculty at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, in 1996. Her research focuses on the molecular-level study of polymer structure and dynamics, employing extensive neutron scattering and spectroscopy methods. Her group elucidates physical properties such as conformation, topology and orientational order in model polymer nanocomposites and membranes for water purification, and establishes fundamental correlations with material performance.

Professor Peter Green, University of Michigan, USA

Quantifying the length-scales of polymer-substrate interactions and the impact on physical properties of polymers

It is well understood that under confinement, typically for length scales on the order of a nanometer to tens of nanometers, polymers exhibit physical properties that manifest the influence of entropic affects and of interactions between polymer chain segments and external interfaces. Physical properties, including glass transition temperatures (Tg), chain dynamics, physical aging rates, mechanical moduli, thermal conductivities and charge carrier mobilities are well documented to exhibit film thickness (h) dependent behavior. Three topics will be discussed in this presentation. (1) The origins of the film thickness dependencies of these different physical properties will be briefly explained.  (2) Macromolecular architecture, linear chain or multi arm star-shaped, strongly influences the magnitudes of the thickness dependencies of the Tgs and the physical aging rates of polymers.  The transitions from linear-chain, to star-like, to colloidal-like behavior will be explained. (3) Different experimental techniques -incoherent neutron scattering, spectroscopic ellipsometry and broad band dielectric spectroscopy -are known to yield Tgs of different magnitudes and, in some cases different h-dependent trends, for the same polymer thin film/substrate systems. While these techniques rely on different observables that denote the transition, the origins of these discrepancies  remain a matter of debate. It will be shown how insights based on the first quantitative measurements of the strengths and length-scales of the interactions at the buried interfaces between different polymers and a substrate, using kelvin force microscopy, provide a pathway to reconcile these apparent discrepancies.


Peter graduated from Hunter College and obtained his MS and PhD from Cornel University (1985). He joined Sandia National Laboratories, and then the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin (1996), later moving to the University of Michigan in 2005 to chair the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He became deputy laboratory director, Science and Technology, and chief research officer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in 2016. Peter is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships (APS, AAAS, MRS etc.), and was the inaugural editor in chief of MRS Communications.  He is a former President of the Materials Research Society.

His research is devoted to developing a fundamental understanding of, and controlling, the structure and properties of "soft" materials for applications that include: energy conversion, active and passive coatings, membranes, sensors and organic electronic and electrorheology.

Andy Sweetman, Futamura Chemical UK Ltd., UK

An industrial perspective of global trends in bio-derived and natural polymers



Andy Sweetman is sustainable packaging market expert, and currently chairs the Biobased and Biodegradable Industries Association, and is past Chairman of the board of European Bioplastics (2009-2013). Following a degree in Modern Languages, and further studies in Packaging Technology, Andy occupied several roles at Innovia, and is currently a director at Futamura UK. He was extensive experience in the flexible packaging industry, with a focus on sustainability and cellulose and bioplastic films.

Professor Jan Vermant, ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Rheology and structure formation in soft matter composites



Jan studied Chemical Engineering at KU Leuven, Belgium, obtaining his PhD in 1996, and was a postdoctoral fellow of Elf Aquitaine and the Fund for Scientific Research – Vlaanderen. He joined the faculty at KU Leuven in 2000, and ETH Zürich in 2014. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Onsager professorship and Onsager medal, and 2019 Weissenberg Award of the European Society of Rheology. His research focuses on the rheology and applications of complex fluid-​fluid interfaces, colloidal suspensions and the development of novel experimental methods and soft matter applications.

Key dates

Abstract submission deadline:

19 June 2022

Early registration deadline:

31 July 2022

Registration deadline:

1 September 2022

Organised by the IOP Polymer Physics Group