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Seminar featuring Dr. Max Wolf from Uppsala University

The Institute of Solid State Physics held a significant seminar as part of the Smart Windows for Zero Energy Buildings (SWEB) project, featuring Dr. Max Wolf from Uppsala University for the second time. The event took place on January 18, 2024, focusing on cutting-edge research titled “Materials on the meso-scale: A Neutron’s Perspective,” which explores new frontiers in material science and its role in sustainable building technologies.

Dr. Wolf’s seminar gave some really interesting insights into polymer systems known for their viscoelastic properties. These materials have a wide range of molecular length and time scales, as well as binding energies close to ambient thermal energies, leading to non-linearities in their response functions. Dr. Wolf explained how these characteristics can cause big changes at the molecular level and even lead to macroscopic flow instabilities that resemble larger-scale patterns.

Dr. Wolf’s research findings connected self-assembly and topological interactions in polymer systems to their viscoelastic properties, adding depth to the seminar discussions. The inclusion of experimental results that explore macroscopic flow instabilities provided a fresh outlook on material behavior at the meso-scale.

The seminar went deeper into how these technologies can be used in smart windows, expanding the conversation beyond just building and architecture. A really interesting part of the seminar looked at how smart windows could be used in aerospace, showing just how innovative this project is. Dr. Juris Purans stressed how important it is to work with industry professionals and get involved in relevant industry events. The Farnborough International Airshow was mentioned as a major upcoming event where these cutting-edge technologies could be displayed, meeting the growing demand for self-cleaning and color-changing coatings in energy, building, engineering, and aerospace sectors.

The SWEB project, including talks like Dr. Wolf’s, keeps emphasizing how teamwork and different fields working together are crucial for advancing sustainable technology. It’s leading the way in innovation with its smart windows that improve energy efficiency in buildings and offer new uses in areas like aerospace.

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