Smart Inorganic Polymers
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Smart Inorganic Polymers

Smart Inorganic Polymers (SIPs) are inorganic polymers with tunable (smart) properties such as stimuli responsive physical properties (shape, conductivity, rheology). While organic polymers are often petrol-based, the backbone of SIPs is made from elements other than carbon which lessens the burden on scarce non-renewable resources or even provide alternatives to them (sustainability). Discoveries in the past decades revealed the potential of inorganic polymers for broad applicability in diverse fields.[1][2][3]Inorganic polymers may provide greater consumer safety owing to improved properties and environmental compatibility (no need for plasticizers, intrinsically flame-retardant properties), technological and economic advancement (solid polymer electrolytes for consumer electronics based on polymers with a low glass-transition temperature), molecular electronics with non-metal elements as improvement and replacement for metal-based conductors and electronic circuits. Recent developments in the field of Smart Inorganic Polymers have been summarized in a themed collection in the scientific journal Chemical Society Reviews.[4]

The European Union within its COST framework has launched a network called SIPs bundling the European activities in the relevant areas in order to establish structure-property-relations for the rational design of smart inorganic polymers. The combination of leading scientists with common motivation but diverse expertise together with industrial partners intends to foster transnational efforts towards the design and application of novel smart inorganic polymers.[5] Besides regular meetings at the annual EUSIPs conferences, training schools take place which aim at knowledge transfer to young researchers. The COST action is led by Evamarie Hey-Hawkins [6] (chair) and Muriel Hissler [7] (vice-chair).


  1. ^ Chivers, T. ; Manners, I. "Inorganic Rings and Polymers of the p-Block Elements" RSC Publishing, Cambridge, UK: 2009. ISBN 978-1-84755-906-7.
  2. ^ de:P-Ink
  3. ^ Baumgartner, T. ; Jaekle, F. "Main Group Strategies towards Functional Hybrid Materials" Wiley: 2018. ISBN 978-1-119-23597-2.
  4. ^ Themed Collection: Smart Inorganic Polymers, 2016, link
  5. ^
  6. ^ webpage at University of Leipzig, Germany link
  7. ^ webpage at University of Rennes, France link

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