Document Actions

You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2017/18 Prof. Dr. Andreas Walther

Prof. Dr. Andreas Walther

University of Freiburg
Macromolecular Chemistry and Systems
Internal Senior Fellow
October 2017 - September 2019

Room 00 017
Phone +49 761-203-97321
Fax +49 (0)761 203-97451


Andreas Walther (*1980) is a Professor for Functional Polymers at the Institute for Macromolecular Chemistry at the Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg (Germany).

His research interests concentrate on developing and understanding hierarchical self-assembly concepts inside and outside equilibrium, and on using them to create Active, Adaptive and Autonomous Bioinspired Material Systems - A3BMS.

He graduated from Bayreuth University in Germany in 2008 with a Ph.D. focusing on the self-assembly behavior and applications of Janus particles and other soft, complex colloids. After a postdoctoral stay with a focus on biomimetic hybrid materials at Aalto University (Helsinki, Finland), he returned to Germany (2011), and established his independent research group at the DWI – Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials in Aachen. In 2016 he was appointed to his present position in Freiburg.

A. Walther has published close to 130 papers (h-index 44) and has recently been awarded the Bayer Early Excellence in Science Award (for Materials), the Reimund Stadler Young Investigator Award of the German Chemical Society, a BMBF NanoMatFutur Research Group, and an ERC Starting Grant. He is a fellow of both the Freiburg as well as the Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Studies.

Selected Publications

  • Heuser, T.; Weyandt, E.; Walther, A. “Biocatalytic Feedback-Driven Temporal Programming of Self-Regulating Non-Equilibrium Peptide Hydrogels” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed, 54, 13258 (2015)
  • Das, P.; Malho, J.-M.; Koshrow, R.; Schacher, F.; Wang, B.; Walther, A.: “Nacre-Mimetics with Synthetic Nanoclays up to Ultrahigh Aspect Ratio” Nat. Commun. 6, 5967 (2015).
  • Torres-Rendon, J. G.; Femmer, T.; de Laport, L.; Tigges, T.; Rahimi, K.; Gremse, F.; Zafarnia, S.; Lederle, W.; Ifuku, S.; Wessling, M.; Hardy, J. G.; Walther, A. ”Bioactive Gyroid Scaffolds Formed by Sacrificial Templating of Nanocellulose and Nanochitin Hydrogels as Instructive Platforms for Biomimetic Tissue Engineering” Adv. Mater. 27, 2989 (2015)
  • Tigges, T.; Heuser, T.; Tiwari, R.; Walther, A. “3D DNA Origami Cuboids as Monodisperse Patchy Nanoparticles for Switchable Hierarchical Self-Assembly” Nano Lett. 16, 7870 (2016).
  • Gröschel, A. H.; Walther, A.; Löbling, T. I. Schacher, F. H.; Schmalz, H.; Müller, A. H. E. “Guided Hierarchical Co-assembly of Soft Patchy Particles” Nature, 503, 247 (2013). (highlighted by various internet resources)

FRIAS Project

Implementation of Light-Powered Nanomachines into Polymer Bulk: From Fundamentals of Active Matter to Functional, Life-Inspired Polymer Materials

Since they  work far from thermodynamic  equilibrium,  biological  systems  exhibit  active  and  adaptive functionalities that surpass the passive properties of present-day synthetic materials. Molecular machines are at the core of such biological out-of-equilibrium systems, and transduce energy (e.g. light, chemical) into mechanical motion and produce functions (e.g. transport, movement) from their mechanics. Our long-term vision is to develop concepts for  the  integration  of  artificial  nanomachines  into  polymer  bulk  materials  and  develop  the  field  of  far-from- equilibrium, active polymer bulk materials (“active plastics”) – which would result in an entirely new class of life-like materials.   This includes in particular to (i) realize a synthetic integration of light-powered nanomotors  (capable of rotating at MHz frequency in unconstrained environment) into purposefully engineered polymers, (ii) understand the fundamental  operational  principles by a systematic  study, and  (iii) capitalize  on this  understanding  with  a first material    implementation    in   the    framework   of   light-adaptive    mechanical    high-performance    biomimetic nanocomposites, inspired by the structure  in mother-of-pearl. To tackle the underlying interdisciplinary challenges, we  merge  our  expertise  in  a  coherent  research  program  on  several  levels:  molecular  machines,  organic  and supramolecular  chemistry,  macromolecular  engineering,  polymer  physics,  advanced  characterization,  materials science and non-equilibrium active matter.