Prime motivation is to understand molecular interfaces and to relate this to colloidal systems which are by nature determined by the large surface/volume ratio. Consequently the strength of the department in characterizing planar or quasi-planar interfaces has been increased and in addition it has been tried successfully to transfer this knowledge to curved interfaces. From this we have again learned about planar interfaces since surfaces could be studied by techniques requiring large surface area (NMR, DSC).
Overall the strategy in the area of curved surfaces is to concentrate on basic sciences and interfacial aspects but help other groups and companies develop applications. As a consequence we have acquired many large projects with application oriented partners in areas like "bio-nanotechnology" and "complex systems" where our part remains basic understanding and studying model systems. Also with this intention we have founded a joined research group with the neighboring Fraunhofer Institute of Applied Polymer Science.
One of the strengths of the department has been to develop new methods for interface characterization. This has been in the past to introduce surface x-ray diffraction and fluorescence microscopy and now has been expanded to introduce new ways of dynamic surface pressure measurements and to combine this with second harmonic generation and sum frequency generation.