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SoMaS Summer School 2013: Scientific Programme




Some enthusiastic young researchers will have the opportunity to expose, during a round table discussion with two distinguished scientists, Prof. Murugappan Muthukumar and Prof. Frans Leermakers,  their long-term research projects based on their current results in soft matter science. This discussion will be held on the stage of the lecture hall, with the participation of all attendees of the summer school, who will be invited to contribute to these discussions through questions and comments.

The researchers shall be selected for these master classes by the scientific committee of the school. They will have to send their presentation explaining the scientific background of their research project and a file containing the explanation of the slides. This presentation should make clear that the presented research is of high quality and significant novelty. It should also be of interest to the masters of the class. Applications not meeting these criteria cannot be considered for the master classes.

All young researchers selected for the master classes will be awarded by publication of their CV and project on the IRTG Website.



Every lecture (3 hours altogether) will be illustrated by two research seminars (see list of invited speakers) and a “rework” seminar during which the young researchers shall explore the topic more deeply with the lecturer after having gone through his/her lecture.

Mechanical properties of polymers: from bulk to surfaces

  Vincent Le Houérou, Strasbourg, France

  • Introduction to deformation, yield and fracture of polymers
  • Contact mechanics and experimental techniques
  • Application to the study of frictional, scratching resistance and adhesive properties of polymer surfaces (bulk and coated)
  • Sliding contacts between soft matter surfaces


Thermodynamics and analytical techniques at interfaces

  Hubert Motschmann, Regensburg, Germany

  • A tutorial review of thermodynamics with an emphasis to interfaces
  • Modern techniques for the characterization of static and dynamic processes at fluid  interfaces
  • Specific ion effects in physicochemical and biological systems: Simulations, theory, and experiments


Physics of polymer interfaces

  Jens-Uwe Sommer, Dresden, Germany

  • Introduction to polymer solutions and melts
  • Polymer adsorption, single chains, critical point, many chains and saturation
  • Polymer brushes, mean-field and scaling concepts



All students shall present a poster during the poster sessions. The posters will be put up at the beginning and will be displayed for the whole time of the school. Regarding the poster sessions please send an abstract (one page) presenting the results and the main questions of your research project and the strategies to solve them (cf abstract submission section).



Several sessions will be dedicated to career perspectives. A broad range of career opportunities will be addressed like science research in the industry, science communication, patent office etc… A long session will be dedicated to the preparation of the job interview.


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