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Report from IUPAC-Sponsored Symposium


20th Discussion Conference on Scattering Methods for the Investigation of Polymers, 9-12 July 2001,
Prague, Czech Republic


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This discussion conference was the 60th event in the series of Prague Meetings on Macromolecules organized by the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. The experience of the organizers extending over the past three decades virtually guaranteed that the organization of this meeting would be highly professional. The conference was attended by 99 active participants and 9 accompanying persons from 23 countries. Altogether, 7 main lectures, 23 short special lectures, 2 panel discussions, and 2 poster sessions (41 posters) constituted the scientific program of the meeting, which was devoted to the application of scattering methods to the characterization of polymers. The scope of the meeting included neutron, X-ray, and light-scattering methods and their use in the description of structural transitions and chain organization involving simple polymers, block copolymers, various advanced polymer architectures, polymer blends, gels, and other objects. The titles of main lectures may serve as examples:

  • "Neutron reflectivity of polymer-polymer interfaces" (J. S. Higgins, UK)
  • "Scattering studies of universality and hierarchical structure in polymer mixtures undergoing spinodal decomposition" (T. Hashimoto, Japan)
  • "Crystallization in block copolymers" (A. J. Ryan, UK)
  • "Structure and dynamics of silica-filled polymer by SANS and coherent SAXS" (E. Geissler, France)
  • "New results in sphere-forming block copolymers" (T. P. Lodge, USA)
  • "Structure and dynamics in aqueous polymer solutions studied by SAXS and DLS" (O. Glatter, Austria)
  • "Polymer brushes and mushrooms in polymeric matrices" (S. H. Anastasiadis, Greece)

Two panel discussions on topical problems were skillfully moderated by G. D. Wignall (USA) and W. Burchard (Germany). A relaxed atmosphere at poster sessions stimulated informal communication between the participants.

The social program of the meeting included a welcoming reception and a trip to the Holy Mountain close to the town of Pøíbram, followed by a visit to the Castle of Dobøí• and its beautiful parks about 40 km southwest of Prague. Accompanying persons, in particular, enjoyed seeing the sights of historic parts of Prague. Appreciation for the fine organization of the scientific program is due to Dr. Josef Ple•til, Chairman of the Conference, and to the Organizing Committee from the host institute. An important point to be noted is that Prof. Henri Benoît (France), a pioneer in the scattering methods applied to polymers, celebrated his 80 th birthday in Prague; congratulations to him!

Dr. Jaroslav Stejskal
Secretary, IUPAC Commission on Structure and
Properties of Commercial Polymers IV.2
Institute of Molecular Chemistry
Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Prague, Czech Republic


> Published in Chem. Int. 23(6), 2001

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