Rudolf Zentel studied chemistry at the University of Mainz (Germany) and finished his Ph. D. thesis in 1983 with a work on the borderline between physical chemistry (Prof. G. Strobl) and organic chemistry (Prof. H. Ringsdorf).
After working as a post-doc for one year in Freiburg (Prof. H. J. Cantow) he returned to Mainz in 1984 and began his works on liquid crystalline elastomers (Prof. H. Ringsdorf), which was finished with the habilitation in 1989. A one year stay at the IBM-Almaden research center followed (1989/90). His work there was concentrated on photoresists and polymers for nonlinear optics. After his return to Germany he got a position at the Institute of Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry at the University of Düsseldorf (group of Prof. G. Wulff).
From 1992 to 1996 he was a C3-professor for polymer chemistry at the University of Mainz. In the winter trimester 1994/95 he was a guest-professor at the University of Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium). In 1996 he organized a NATO Advanced Research Workshop in Il Ciocco, Italy.
In the winter term 96/97 he became a C4-professor for polymer chemistry at the University of Wuppertal. In 2000 he organized the "6th US/Germany Polymer Symposium for younger scientists". Since October 2000 he is professor for organic chemistry and polymer chemistry at the University of Mainz.
From 2003 - 05 he was dean of the faculty of chemistry and pharmacy (FB 09), from 2006 - 2019 he was head of the examination board. From 2006 to 2015 he was german speaker of the Internationales Graduiertenkollegs 1404 (Self-Organized Materials for Optoelectronics Applications) with Seoul National University, South Korea and from 2013 up to the present he is speaker of the Sonderforschungsbereich 1066 (Nanodimensional polymer based therapeutics for tumor immunotherapy). In addition to that he organized the International Liquid Crystal Conference as director in Mainz.
His scientific work was recently summarized in:
From LC-polymers to nano medicines-
Different aspects of polymer science from a materials viewpoint
This essay compiles the work of the author on (i) liquid crystalline (LC)-polymers (including LC-elastomers, ferroelectric LCs and LC-particles), on (ii) switchable helical polymers, on (iii) polymer based opals, on (iv) organic – inorganic hybrids for the improvement of quantum dot light emitting diodes or for battery applications as well as on (v) polymeric carriers for biomedical applications (e.g. nanomedicine for tumor-immune-therapy).
From the chemical side this work is based the use of various polymerization technics including -as more special technics- (a) “surfactant-free emulsion polymerization” to prepare extremely monodisperse polymer colloids, (b) controlled radical polymerization (RAFT) to prepare functional block-copolymers and (c) photoinitiated polymerization, to start polymerization and/or crosslinking at a defined space and time during processing.
The supporting information of this article can be found here.
Prof. Dr. R. Zentel
Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz
Institute for Organic Chemistry
Tel: (+49-6131) 39-20361
Fax: (+49-6131) 39-24778