Paola Nicolella

Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz
Sebastian Seiffert


Field of expertise:
PhD subject:
Structure and diffusion in DDNs at the nano- to micro- scale

Double-dynamic networks (DDNs) are polymer networks that combine two dynamic modes within the same material offering a wide spectrum of different functionalities. DDNs can comprise one covalent and one reversible network, for example, in order to combine the advantages of both high mechanical strength and easy processability, or they can comprise one network with two different dynamic modes.

In the development of a new class of polymer networks, the investigation of the structure plays a key role, because it represents the linking chain between the synthesis and the final properties of the material. Polymer networks can have inhomogeneities at different length scales, therefore the synergy between multiple characterization techniques is necessary. The combination of probe diffusion and light scattering techniques allows to cover the whole range from the nano- to the micro- scale. In particular, the aim of this research project is to investigate the structure and the diffusion of double dynamic networks, aiming to relate the local diffusion and defects to the mechanical properties.

The systems are handled from the synthesis to the characterization and in particular I am involved in the following aspects:

  • Synthesis of double-dynamic networks:

Design and synthesis of a novel double-dynamic network with two different dynamic modes: a metal complex dynamic bond and a thermo-responsive polymer.

  • Characterization of double-dynamic networks with light scattering

Light scattering is used to determine the homogeneity of the polymer networks. Moreover, it is used to determine characteristic parameters of the polymer and the network such as the network mesh size.

  • Investigation of double dynamic-networks with probe diffusion techniques

Probe diffusion techniques include fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, fluorescence recovery after photobleaching, and dynamic light scattering. With a probe, it is possible to investigate the permeability of the polymer network.


  • Mother tongue : Italian
  • English (IELTS results) : Excellent
  • German (DAAD Sprachzeugnis) : C2
  • Dutch (TCP Exam: Advanced 2) : B1
  • Application no. LU100944 - Filed at Apollo Tyres Global R&D - Enschede (NL). Patent status: pending.
  • Application no. not available - Filed at Apollo Tyres Global R&D - Enschede (NL). Patent recently submitted.
Sebetia Ter 2019 Best Thesis in Engineering obtained at foreign University

Curriculum Vitae

Work experience

Apollo Tyres Global R&D

Enschede (NL)
Intern of the raw materials group
Project: “Broadening of the tan δ curve with new polymers enhancing the wet grip without affecting rolling resistance”
Principal tasks: examination of existing patents and technical literature, intellectual property, formulation of tyre blends, compatibility, phase separation, differential scanning calorimetry, dynamic mechanical analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, atomic force microscopy, Mooney, Payne and other mechanical tests.
Filing of two patents: one is pending with application no. LU100944 and the other has no identification number yet.

Stazione Sperimentale per l’Industria delle Pelli e delle Materie Concianti (SSIP) - Naples (IT)

Research and study in the context of natural and synthetic polymers. Comparison between ancient and modern leather: diagnosis and degradations mechanisms
Techniques: attenuated total reflectance infrared spectroscopy, stereo and phase contrast optical microscope, scanning electron microscope, differential scanning calorimetry-thermogravimetric analysis, mechanical strength and resistance tests.

AFME Action for M.E. Bristol (UK)

General office administration and organisational assistance, including press monitoring, data entry, case study, database management.


Johannes Gutenberg-University

Mainz (DE)
PhD Chemistry (Physical Chemistry)
“Structure and diffusion in Double Dynamic Networks at the nano- to micro- scale” in the project: Marie Sklodowska Curie ITN Action - DoDyNet: “Double dynamics for design of new responsive polymer networks and gels”
Characterization of polymer solutions and gels by light scattering and probe diffusion techniques. Synthesis of supramolecular and thermoresponsive polymer networks.

University of Twente, Enschede (NL)


Master of science Chemical Engineering (Molecules & Materials Engineering)
Master of science Nanotechnology
Master Thesis: “Adsorption of macromolecules on designer substrates by atomic force microscopy based single molecule force spectroscopy: the role of the surrounding medium”. Project in collaboration with: Shell, Dutch Polymer Institute, SNF-group
Relevant courses and laboratory experience: organic/inorganic material science, elastomer science and technology, fabrication and characterization of nanostructures, nano-lab.

Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Naples (IT)

Bachelor of science Chemical Engineering
Bachelor Thesis: “Analytical techniques applied to Cultural Heritage: the case of an ancient parchment”
Relevant courses: organic/inorganic chemistry, science and technology of materials, chemical plants, chemical reaction engineering, principle of chemical engineering, fundamentals of industrial chemistry.

Fondazione Plart, Naples (IT)

Interdisciplinary Course of Higher Education
“Plastic in art and for art. Polymers as basic and restoration material for Cultural Heritage”
Relevant content: principles of science and technology of polymers and plastic materials, degradation phenomena in relation to the material.

Scientific High School

Naples (IT)
Istituto Pontano (07-09) / Liceo Scientifico Leon Battista Alberti (04-07)

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