The synthesis of new compounds and materials using chemical processes is closely linked to the availability of raw materials and to energetic aspects. Chemistry inherently deals with the concept of sustainability because of its responsibility for the efficient use of existing resources. In our own research, we try to achieve this by complying with the rules of sustainable chemistry. An explanation of these rules can be found here.
Some of our research areas are closely linked to sustainable aspects, for example the investigation of mechanisms and materials with self-healing properties that allow longer use of objects. In the field of resource-saving encapsulation materials for optoelectronic applications, we are studying the substitution of rare earth elements in LEDs. Goal in this research is the replacement of rare earth element containing phosphors by rare earth free organic phosphors. We handle this by studying of structure-property relationships of potential materials and extending this knowledge to the design of new materials. The siloxane-based materials that we were able to develop protect the organic phosphors from the influence of light and oxygen and do not require any platinum-containing catalysts for cross-linking. We also use mechanochemistry in various synthetic approaches, which enables the production of compounds with less energy input and almost no solvents.