The focus of this CD lab is on the cost-effective and environmentally friendly production of high-quality plastics, which are used, for example, for bonding, coating or protection against corrosion. Together with the company partners, Prof. C. Slugovc and his team are looking for ways to replace toxic and foul-smelling sulphur or nitrogen compounds as well as toxic metal compounds currently used in plastics production with more readily available, cheaper and less toxic alcohols. So far, such experiments have failed due to the low reactivity of alcohols, which – unlike thiols or amines – only react at high temperatures. A potential way of allowing alcohols to react under milder conditions is by organocatalysis. In this method, organic molecules are used to accelerate chemical reactions. To this end, the CD lab is now advancing the basics and knowledge of the activation of alcohols, developing tailor-made organocatalysts and investigating the properties of alcohol-based plastics in fastening technology and corrosion protection.
Director of the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Organocatalysis in Polymerization