Photoluminescent Polymers

Project carried out by a research team led by Dr. Andrzej Swinarew of the Institute of Materials Science, University of Silesia, the project is intended to examine the use of new initiating systems for the synthesis of broadly understood polymeric materials, and in particular of polyols. The subject of study are synthetic polymers having photoluminescence properties. The research team has succeeded in synthesizing a polymer displaying blue photoluminescence, which is a significant accomplishment. More successes are likely to follow as research into the properties of these materials has been conducted for years now. Doctor Swinarew’s team members are as follows: Professor Zbigniew Grobelny, Doctor Sylwia Golba, Marta Łężniak MSc, Jadwiga Gabor MSc, Tomasz Flak MSc, as well as degree candidates and members of student research club “Piranie”.

Applications. It appears that the synthesized materials can be used as phantoms for prognosticating tumor treatment in oncology. Other potential uses include mining, production of polyurethane foams, synthesis of construction materials, or luminescent polymers use for manufacturing of e.g. TV screens. The researchers are trying to ensure that the OLEDs (Organic Light-Emitting Device) they are working on do not have shorter lifetimes that the popular plasma display panels or LCDs.

Cooperation. The research team have succeeded in obtaining e.g. special photoluminescent fibers which will be used for securing such materials as state documents, banknotes, or certified documents. Embedded in a given material, these fibers emit light of the right wavelength when subject to insolation. Tests have been performed at the Museum of Papermaking in Duszniki-Zdrój in cooperation with the dean of the Faculty of Material Technologies and Textile Design, and the experiment proved to be successful. So far, the team have had the results of their work implemented in the production of polyurethane foams. Also, a consortium agreement has been signed by representatives of the University of Silesia, the Institute for Engineering of Polymer Materials and Dyes and PAMAR company.

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