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1st PSCM Workshop and Review

The 1st PSCM Review meeting and workshop took place at the Science Building on 27-28 March 2017. The aim of the meeting was to evaluate the implementation of the PSCM initiative during 2012-2016 and to provide recommendations for possible future developments. The Review Panel was composed of 4 Soft Matter experts from France, UK, Sweden and Italy.

The meeting was opened by the ESRF and ILL Science Directors who presented the overall scope and history of the PSCM initiative in the framework of the two facilities. They were followed by the PSCM coordinators who presented the activity reports for the respective ILL and ESRF branches of the PSCM. The public session of the meeting was closed by scientific talks delivered by representatives of the five current PSCM Partners: University of Gӧttingen (DE), Technical University of Berlin (DE), Imperial College London (UK), University of Paderborn (DE) and University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences of Vienna (AT).

Examples of partner-driven science supported by the PSCM include complex self-assembly phenomena in polyelectrolyte-surfactant mixtures [1], a novel texture analysis method for nanocomposite materials [2], a multi-technique study of keratin bundles in cells [3], and the development of microfluidic devices for small angle scattering studies of complex fluids [4].

In addition to partners, the PSCM supports also all ESRF/ILL users needing complementary techniques and sample preparation laboratories to enhance their scientific achievements. Typical examples of ESRF/ILL user projects include studies of binary ionic liquid mixtures [5], fluctuation dynamics in lipid vesicles [6],  peptides-biomembranes interactions [7], and controlled synthesis of diblock copolymer nano-objects [8].

The PSCM supports also the collaborative research programs of on-site ESRF/ILL staff members investigating for example electrostatic [9] and interfacial [10] nanoparticle self-assembly as well as adsorption phenomena [11] and molecular processes at interfaces [12]. This selection of published research is not comprehensive and it represents only a small part of the scientific topics investigated within the PSCM initiative.

More than 40 ESRF/ILL staff members attended the workshop, actively participated in the discussions, and received up-to-date information on the current portfolio of instruments and support services offered by the PSCM laboratories.

The meeting included also two restricted executive sessions, in which the Review Panel interviewed the PSCM staff, partners and management. The recommendations from the Panel will serve as guidelines for the ESRF and ILL managements during the preparation of the new PSCM agreement.

Many people contributed to the foundation and to the growth of the PSCM initiative. Special thanks go to the Partners, Users and onsite Scientists who use the PSCM facilities and give regular feedback on wishes and opportunities for improving the user support services.

1.    Examples of Partner-driven Science:

[1] Cera L., Chiappisi L., Böttcher C., Schulz A., Schoder S., Gradzielski M. and Schalley C. A., Advanced Materials, 16044302016, DOI: 10.1002/adma.201604430

[2] Grünewald T.A., Rennhofer H., Tack P., Garrevoet J., Wermeille D., Thompson P., Bras W., Vincze L. and Lichtenegger H.C.,  Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 55, 12190, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201603784

[3] Hémonnot C.Y.J., Reinhardt J., Saldanha O., Patommel J., Graceffa R., Weinhausen B., Burghammer M., Schroer C.G. and Kӧster S., ACS Nano 10, 3553, 2016, DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.5b07871

[4] Adamo M., Poulos A., Miller R. M., Gonzalez Lopez C., Martel A., Porcar L. and Cabral, J. T., Lab Chip, just accepted 2017, DOI: 10.1039/C7LC00179G

Examples of User-driven Science:

[5] Mariani A., Dattani R., Caminiti R. and Gontrani L., J. Phys. Chem. B 120, 10540, 2016, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.6b07295

[6] Mell M., Moleiro L.H., Hertle Y., López-Montero I., Cao F.J., Fouquet P., Hellweg T. and Monroy F., Chem. Phys. Lipids 185, 61, 2015, DOI: 10.1016/j.chemphyslip.2014.11.005

[7] Bello G., Bodin A., Lawrence M. J., Barlow D., Mason A. J., Barker R. D. and Harvey R. D., BBA - Biomembranes, 1858, 197-2092016, DOI: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2015.11.007

[8] Warren N.J., Mykhaylyk O.O., Mahmood D., Ryan A.J. and Armes S.P., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 136, 1023-1033, 2014, DOI: 10.1021/ja410593n

 Examples of Collaborative In-House Research:

[9] Mariani G., Moldenhauer D., Schweins R. and Grӧhn F., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 138, 1280, 2016, DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b11497

[10] Costa L., Li-Destri G., Thomson N.H., Konovalov O. and Pontoni D., Nano Lett. 16, 5463, 2016, DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.6b01877

[11] Schneck E., Scoppola E., Drnec J., Mocuta C., Felici R., Novikov D., Fragneto G. and Daillant J., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A., 113, 9521-9526, 2016, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1603898113

[12] Gerelli Y., Porcar L., Lombardi L. and Fragneto G., Langmuir 29, 12762-12769, 2013 , DOI: 10.1021/la402708u

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