Graz University of Technology

Graz University of Technology - Cutting edge applied and fundamental research combined with high-end analytical techniques

Contact: Wolfgang Bauer (wolfgang.bauer@tugraz.at), Stefan Spirk (stefan.spirk@tugraz.at)

At our university, there are three interconnected main research focuses dealing with polysaccharides, many of them also in an industrial context.

The first topic relates to all types of research on paper, pulp and board, whereas the main research focuses are the analysis of three-dimensional paper structure; fibre orientation, morphology and flexibility; printability on paper; ageing of paper as well as refining. These activities are performed at the Institute for Paper, Pulp and Fibre Technology as well as the Institute for Solid State Physics.

The second topic deals with the preparation of polysaccharide nanomaterials for non-classic applications. This involves applications of polysaccharides in thin film transistors, sensors, batteries, solar cells and conductive films.  These activities are carried out at the Institute for Chemistry and Technology of Materials and the Institute for Solid State Physics.

The third topic is related to the understanding of enzyme interactions with polysaccharide materials. Main research focuses are how to use and to engineer enzymes in order to convert lignocellulosic feedstock into high value products. These activities are located at the Institute for Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering.

All these activities require on one hand state of the art preparation techniques as well as high end analytical devices in order to design new materials and to solve problems on an industrial scale. Examples for such high end infrastructure are sophisticated scattering techniques (e.g. XRR, GI-SAXS, SWAXS, also with synchrotron radiation, dynamic light scattering) as well as numerous electron (e.g. HR-TEM at Angstrom resolution, FE-SEM with tensile testing) and atomic force microscopes (e.g. video-AFM, one image/second). Other available analytical techniques comprise a solid state NMR spectrometer, a surface plasmon resonance spectrometer, PM-IRRAS, all types of electrical measurements (impedance etc.) as well as a variety of specialized test devices for paper, pulp and fibre analysis.