vub wapenschild

Physical Chemistry and Polymer Science @ VUB

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SMART recruitment

SMART recruitment

15.03.2020 - 31.05.2020

The FYSC research group and partners are recruiting early stage researchers (ESR) for the MSCA ITN SMART ( We are looking to recruit 15 ESR in the participating institutions. The FYSC research group has 2 open positions available, as does the R&MM research group from VUB. The students will work together on the interdisciplinary project, developing smart materials for robotic applications.

Perfect score for FYSC at FWO individual fellowships 2019

Perfect score for FYSC at FWO individual fellowships 2019


All three of the applicants affiliated to the FYSC research group of VUB have been granted individual PhD fellowships from the Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (FWO) Flanders. Congratulations to Jessica, Ellen and Marlies for obtaining these prestigious grants!

Interreg project 'Concrete to concrete', master thesis, Recovery of sand fraction

01.09.2019 - 01.02.2020

Concrete is used worldwide and its production needs tremendous amounts of sand. The recycling of end-of-life concrete becomes more and more interesting economically and environmentally. Application for particles larger than 4 mm are already existing, however, the fine fraction below 4 mm caused some issues, namely the separation of the hardened cement paste glued on others particles. In this report is investigated how different treatments influence the properties of this fraction. Thus this report presents the characterization of mortars made from CEM I were the sand has been replaced by the product of different treatment. Coming from a batch where the size distribution the recycled concrete was first sieved (with sieve openings of : 4mm, 2mm, 1mm, 0.5mm, 0.212mm, 0.125mm, 0.063mm) before being dehydrated at 550°C. or 750°C, then some of the material was softly milled in planetary ball mill in order to break hardened cement paste. To look at the impact of temperature and milling, XRD and XRF and sieving analysis were carried out. XRD pointed out different changes in microstructure depending of the temperature of treatment. XRF and PSD analysis showed how the different milling parameters influenced size and composition. Finally mortars were casted with dehydrated fines or milled material as sand replacement to compare with mortar with fresh sand. Compression tests and resoanalysis showed that after 28 days the sample with dehydrated fines had strength 10% smaller comparing to the reference, on the other hand the compressive strength of mortars with milled material was 2.5 times smaller than the reference. Concerning Young’s modulus, both sets where fresh sand was replaced have a modulus about two times smaller than the reference. These results give good hopes and many paths to explore so that one day sand could be replaced by some cheap recycled cement material without great mechanical properties losses and thus making concrete industry more environmentally sustainable. (Hugo Keller, Master thesis)

Workshop on Sorption Technology: The key methods in investigating moisture sorption properties

Workshop on Sorption Technology: The key methods in investigating moisture sorption properties

27.02.2019 - 27.02.2019

The workshop is aimed for industry professionals, researchers and PhD students. Attendees will gain better understanding on the uses and benefits of most advanced sorption techniques. Date: Wednesday, 27th Feb 2019 Time: 11:30 – 3:30 (CET) Venue: Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium Presenter: Dr. Naima Ali. For information and registration:

TAWN Users meeting 2018

TAWN Users meeting 2018

30.11.2018 - 30.11.2018

The TAWN users meeting 2018 will take place on 30.11.2018 The Dutch Society of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry (TAWN) is a society for persons interested in Thermal Analysis and/or Calorimetry. The goal of the society is to assure that the members are well informed about the new developments in the field.

Selected Research Topicsgo to research


Thermosets (epoxy, polyurethane, polyester, ...) are characterized by a macromolecular network architecture of high crosslink density and have a glass transition temperature beyond the application temperature. The network formation might be triggered by heat, light, atmospheric plasma. The following aspects are studied: reaction mechanism, cure kinetics and modelling, reaction-induced structure ...

Organic photovoltaics

The main objective is to achieve a more profound understanding of the OPV blend nanomorphology-performance relationship by means of the physicochemical characteristics of the active components (solubility, molecular weight, polydispersity, aggregation phenomena, crystallization kinetics, kinetics of phase separation). Unravelling this relationship provides a fundamental toolbox to engineer the ...

Self-healing polymers

Self-healing polymers are smart stimuli-responsive materials eabling to restore properties to avoid damage. As an example, self-healing polymers should undergo mechanical healing in response to an applied stimulus. Such healable polymers and composite materials offer the ability to prolong the functional lifetime of their resulting structures and coatings.

Advanced thermal analysis

The FYSC research team is contributing to the international progress of thermal analysis for materials' characterization, especially in the field of Modulated Temperature DSC (MTDSC), spatially localised thermal analysis (Micro-TA and Nano-TA), (ultra)fast thermal analysis (Rapid-scanning DSC and Chip Calorimetry) and hyphenated thermal techniques (Rheo-DSC). This work involves the development of ...

Selected Publicationsgo to publications