Tadeusz Pakula passed away on June 7 2005, at the age of 59 years. He gained a great international reputation as a scientist. He significantly participated in the institute's development and vitally contributed to its scientific focus. Due to his scientific enthusiasm, we owe him fundamental insight into the development of new materials.
We will keep him in thankful and honourable memory.
His colleagues, the works council and all co-workers
of the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz, Germany
Tadeusz Pakula studied physics at the university of Lodz in Poland. He got his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1976 and received his "Habilitation" in 1984 at the Technical University of Lodz. He was employed in the Physics Department of the Technical University of Lodz (1967-73) and at the Center of Molecular and Macromolecular Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences (1974-84). As a Postdoctoral Fellow he spent one and a half year in the Institute for Physical Chemistry at the University of Mainz (1977/78) and one year (1982/83) in the Chemistry Department of the Kyoto University. Since 1984, he has been at the MPI for Polymer Research as a head of the laboratory for testing mechanical properties of polymers.
A lot of systems have been developed in which a contolled molecular architecture leads to self-organization of molecules to various supramolecular structures with interesting properties. Studies of structure and dynamics of such systems and their correlations to macroscopic properties require application of various experimental methods which are sensitive to the order on various size scales and to the dynamic phenomena extending over a broad time scale. X-ray scattering techniques and relaxation spectroscopy methods are the mostly applied experimental tools which provide a lot of information about the sructure and dynamics in complex polymeric systems. The following systems are considered in recent studies: melts of polymers with complex chain architectures, copolymers, liquid crystalline systems, stiff chain polymers and gels. Efforts are made to establish experimental methods which combine various structure and dynamics detecting techniques like rheo-optics or rheo-dielectics. Methods of theoretical description of mechanical properties of materials with complex heterogeneous structures extending over a broad size range are under development.
Computer simulation is used as a supporting research tool, often providing information about studied systems which is not accessible for experiments. A unique very efficient simulation method is used (Cooperative Motion Algorithm) which allows to study structure and dynamics of dense systems of complex molecules. Problems studied in this way are closely related to the systems studied experimentally and include: dynamics of melts of complex polymer molecules, structure and phase transitions in block copolymers, stiff chain polymers, behavior of polymers at surfaces, interfaces and in confined geometries, polymer flow, etc.
A combination of information from experimental and numerical modelling methods appeares often very successful providing more complex knowledge about studied phenomena.