The Institute of Polymer Chemistry (IPOC), established in 2007 as a merger of the Institute of Applied Macromolecular Chemistry with the Institute of Textile and Fiber Chemistry, consists of two chairs:
1. Chair of Macromolecular Materials and Fiber Chemistry
2. Chair of Structure & Properties of Polymeric Materials
The Chair of Macromolecular Compounds and Fiber Chemistry developed from the Institute of Textile and Fiber Chemistry, founded in 1972. The first professor of the newly created Chair of Textile Chemistry at the time was Prof. Dr. Hermann Rath, who had worked since 1936 as professor in this research field at the Technical University (TH) of Stuttgart; he also led a Department at the Reutlingen Textile Technology Center. The local roots of the synthetic fiber chemistry can be traced back to Prof. Paul Schlack, an inventor of “Perlon”. Prof. Schlack had established a research group for synthetic fibers at the Institute Reutlingen in 1961, which had meanwhile moved to Stuttgart, and he was also associated with the TH Stuttgart via an Honorary Professorship. With the appointment of Prof. Heinz Herlinger in 1972, both research directions were then combined within the framework of the new Institute of Textile and Fiber Chemistry. An expansion of the institute was, shortly thereafter, carried out with the appointment of a second professorship. As a scientific institute for applied research, the German Institute for Textile and Fiber Research (DITF), developed from the Institute in Reutlingen, was in close contact with the University’s institute. This was also strengthened by joint management functions. Not only investigating the mechanical and technical properties of textiles, dyes and finishing equipment, the University’s institute was also equipped with modern physical and chemical analytical tools as well as the ability for production and characterization of polymeric and textile materials. After the retirement of Prof. Herrlinger, Prof. Oppermann was appointed as Head of the Institute. Prof. Dr. Michael R. Buchmeiser has taken over the Chair of Macromolecular Compounds and Fiber Chemistry in December 2009, and like his predecessors, he is also director of the German Institute for Textile and Fiber Research (DITF).
The current Chair of Structure and Properties of Polymeric Materials developed from the Chair of Macromolecular Chemistry in 2010. The Technical University of Stuttgart had established a new chair for general chemical technology, focusing on pigments and paints, in 1953. As the first head of the new established chair, Prof. Dr. Karl Hamann introduced Macromolecular Chemistry as the basis for the research on organic coating materials to the curriculum for chemistry studies. With the establishment of a second chair in the field of technical chemistry, two Institutes of Technical Chemistry (I and II) were created. The Institute of Technical Chemistry II (ITC II) was represented by Prof. Dr. med. Lothar Dulog, founder of the Chair of Macromolecular Chemistry, and later by his successor, Prof. Dr. Claus D. Eisenbach. In 2005 this institute was renamed as Institute of Applied Macromolecular Chemistry. Like his predecessors, Prof. Hamann and Prof. Dulog, Prof. Eisenbach was Director of the Institute of Applied Macromolecular Chemistry and the Institute of Pigments and Coatings (FPL), which had been founded in 1951 on the initiative of the thriving paints and coatings industry in Stuttgart. After the retirement of Prof. Eisenbach in 2009 the cooperation of the university with the FPL ended simultaneously; the FPL was integrated into the Fraunhofer IPA. With the appointment of Prof. Dr. Sabine Ludwigs as Head of the Chair of Structure and Properties of Polymeric Materials in November 2010 a new topical era of modern polymer science with focus on functional polymers has begun. The research on Functional Polymers deals with their specific optical, electrochemical, opto-electronic and mechanical functionalities for applications in organic electronics and intelligent electrochemical devices.