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Laboratory of Engineering Materials Science

Invited researcher Dmitriy Anatoliyevich Ivanov
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Time span of the project

As of 30.01.2020

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scientific publications
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General information

Name of the project: Physical chemistry, supramolecular chemistry, molecular self-organization, columnar mesophases, selective ion membrane, organic semiconductors, field transistors

Strategy for Scientific and Technological Development Priority Level: а

Goals and objectives

Research directions:

- Creation of new functional materials for organic electronics, selective ion-conducting membranes

- Investigation of structures of partially crystalline and liquid crystal polymers

Project objective: Research of the phenomenon of supramolecular self-organization of organic molecules for creation of new materials: creation of highly selective ion membranes in which ion channels are formed from supramolecular complexes, creation of highly ordered defectless films of organic semiconductors for organic field transistors (OFETs)

The practical value of the study

  • We have implemented the supramoleular approach to create new functional materials. In this research materials with programmed structure of nanodimensional ion channels are assembled from molecular bricks that are liquid crystal amphiphilic molecules, i.e. molecules containing non-mixing hydrophilic and hydrophobic fragments. As a result of self-assembly hydrophilic fragments unite and form a complex system of nanochannels that penetrate the samples in all directions. At the final stage of synthesis polymerization of the produced self-organized system occurs to create a grid of covalent bonds in it and thus to give it necessary mechanical qualities. Such liquid crystals are sufficiently technologically feasible as they allow to very easily conduct molecule orientation using external fields as well as to give any shape to the material before the start of polymerization.
  • We continue development of a basis for practical applications of such nanostructured materials: to create highly selective ion membranes, for biomedical uses as so-called nanosponges for targeted drug delivery.
  • The Laboratory has investigated processes of self-assembly of new semiconductor organic molecules containing oligothiophene fragments. We have reviewed a series of molecular architectures that differ in such features as length of junctions of thiophene blocks and structure of terminal aniline groups and central siloxane junction. In the project we have researched impact of details of molecular architecture on processes of structure formation and thermotropic behavior of the sample, we have conducted in-situ structural research of thin semiconductor films produced using the spin-coating method. For structural research we used methods of X-ray scattering with a sliding beam in little and big diffraction angles that allow to analyze details of morphology and texture of thin films as well of their crystalline structure .

Implemented results of research:

  • A unique device has been created – a nanocalorimeter that allows to conduct quantitative thermal physical research of super-thin organic films and samples with weights of several nanograms. This device has received an award from the Government of Russia for young scientists in 2013.
  • We have conducted optimization of the nanocalorimeter and implemented schemes of its integration into various experimental test benches: scanning probe, optical and Raman microscope as well as on the nanofocus synchrotron X-ray diffraction at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF, Grenoble, France).
  • For the first time in the practice of scientific collaboration in Russia between the Laboratory's ream and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility we have signed and completed two three-year Long-Term Proposal contracts. They allow to receive access without applications to synchrotron lines and to ESRF research laboratories. In exchange the Laboratory provided nanocalorimeters to the ESRF lines that are now available to all users of the synchrotron and is a part of the standard equipment of the line. The device can be used in different installations not only as low power and compact heating element for nanomaterials and thin films but also it can complement obtained results with important heat physical data.

Education and career development:

  • Several times every year postgraduates and research fellow of the Laboratory travel to conduct experiments at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF, Grenoble, France). Internships have been conducted at the University of Strasbourg (France).
  • We have developed a lecture course for the Faculty of Fundamental Physical and Technical Engineering of the Moscow State University. The course is named «Introduction to the structural and thermal analysis of soft-matter systems» and it has been delivered in English since 2016. It has become mandatory for first-year masters students.

Organizational and structural changes:

We have created an innovation enterprise «IDA Technology» Ltd. The main direction of the company's work is producing and selling the device for measuring heat physical qualities if ultra small amounts of substances – nanocalorimeter – designed within the mega-grant.

Other results:

  • The Laboratory's leading scientist participates in organizing international French-Russian forum staged on the grounds of the «Science of the Future» forum.
  • We have registered two unique scientific devices: a diffractometer with small and big angle detection as well the nanocalotimeter created at the Laboratory.
  • We have published 80 scientific articles in highly ranked peer-reviewed journals including such journals as: Science (1 article), Advanced Materials (3 articles), Advanced Energy Materials (1 article), Chemistry of Materials (2 articles), Journal of Materials Chemistry A (2 articles), Journal of Materials Chemistry C (1 article), Macromolecules (9 articles), ACS Macro Letters (2 articles), Chemical Communications (2 articles), Carbon (1 статья), Langmuir (1 article) etc.


  • European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (France): a Long-Term Project, 26 joint publications since 2012
  • RWTH Aachen, DWI Institute (Germany): scientific collaboration, 15 joint publications since 2012
  • University of Strasbourg (France): scientific collaboration, 3 joint publications since 2012
  • Department of High Molecular Compounds of the Faculty of Chemistry of the Moscow State University (Russia): a joint Russian Science Foundation project, 3 joint publications since 2012

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Vatankhah-Varnosfaderani M., Keith A.N., Cong Y., Liang H., Rosenthal M., Sztucki M., Clair Ch., Magonov S., Ivanov D.A., Dobrynin A.V., Sheiko S.S.
Chameleon-like Elastomers with Molecularly Encoded Strain-Adaptive Stiffening and Coloration. Science 359(6383): 1509–1513 (2018).
Grafskaia K.N., Anokhin D.V., Zimka B.I., Izdelieva I.A., Zhu X., Ivanov D.A.
An “on-off” Switching Cubic Phase with Exceptional Thermal Stability and Water Sorption Capacity. Chemical Communications 53(99): 13217–13220 (2017).
Zhang Ch., Mumyatov A., Langner S., Darío P.J., Kassar Th., Min J., Ke L., Chen H., Gerasimov K.L., Anokhin D.V., Ivanov D.A., et al.
Overcoming the Thermal Instability of Efficient Polymer Solar Cells by Employing Novel Fullerene-Based Acceptors. Advanced Energy Materials 7(3): 1601204 (2017).
Zhang H., Li L., Möller M., Zhu X., Hernandez R.J.J., Rosenthal M., Ivanov D.A.
From Channel-Forming Ionic Liquid Crystals Exhibiting Humidity-Induced Phase Transitions to Nanostructured Ion-Conducting Polymer Membranes. Advanced Materials 25(26): 3543–3548 (2013).
Li L., Rosenthal M., Zhang H., Hernandez J., Drechsler M., Phan K.H., Rütten S., Zhu X., Ivanov D.А., Möller M.
Light-Switchable Vesicles from Liquid Crystalline Homopolymer-Surfactant Complexes. Angewandte Chemie (Int. еd. in English) 51: 11616–11619 (2012).
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