Opendata, web and dolomites


From bond breaking to material failure in soft polymer networks

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "SOFTBREAK" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 6708 PB

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Netherlands [NL]
 Total cost 2˙000˙000 €
 EC max contribution 2˙000˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-CoG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-06-01   to  2021-05-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    WAGENINGEN UNIVERSITY NL (WAGENINGEN) coordinator 2˙000˙000.00


 Project objective

The microscopic mechanisms that lead to mechanical failure of soft polymer materials are still poorly understood. The main reason for this is a lack of experimental tools to prepare well-controlled model systems and to observe the failure process in real time at the microscopic scale. Here, I propose to fill this gap by taking a multidisciplinary approach that combines innovative chemical tools with state-of-the art physical experiments and modelling. Previous work in my group has led to the development of polymer networks with extremely well-controlled architecture and bond strength, and of various tools to study their structure and mechanics. Here, I will take advantage of this expertise to systematically unravel the microscopic physics of failure of polymer networks. To visualize how the failure process proceeds, we will make use of recently developed mechanosensors, molecules that change colour in response to a force or that emit light when they break. These chemical tools will allow us to map in real time the spatial distribution of both strains and bond rupture events. Together with computer simulations carried out in parallel, this will give us unprecedented insight in the microscopic processes that occur during failure of the material, from the very first bonds that rupture, to the gradual accumulation of damage, all the way to macroscopic failure. We will use this to address the following unresolved questions about failure of polymer networks: 1. What is the microscopic mechanism that leads to delayed failure of polymer networks at subcritical loads? 2. How does the initiation of failure depend on the material's heterogeneity? 3. How does failure occur in a network with transient (viscoelastic) bonds? The project will not only provide detailed insight in the physics of failure of polymer networks, but it will also shed light on fracture physics in general. Finally, it will help material scientists to design new materials with superior properties.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2017 Jess M. Clough, Jasper van der Gucht, Rint P. Sijbesma
Mechanoluminescent Imaging of Osmotic Stress-Induced Damage in a Glassy Polymer Network
published pages: 2043-2053, ISSN: 0024-9297, DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.6b02540
Macromolecules 50/5 2020-03-06
2018 Ties van de Laar, Hent Schuurman, Pieter van der Scheer, Jan Maarten van Doorn, Jasper van der Gucht, Joris Sprakel
Light from Within: Sensing Weak Strains and FemtoNewton Forces in Single Molecules
published pages: 269-284, ISSN: 2451-9294, DOI: 10.1016/j.chempr.2017.12.016
Chem 4/2 2020-03-06
2018 V. R. Ahuja, J. van der Gucht, W. J. Briels
Hydrodynamically Coupled Brownian Dynamics: A coarse-grain particle-based Brownian dynamics technique with hydrodynamic interactions for modeling self-developing flow of polymer solutions
published pages: 34902, ISSN: 0021-9606, DOI: 10.1063/1.5006627
The Journal of Chemical Physics 148/3 2020-03-06
2017 Luka Vitomir, Joris Sprakel, Jasper van der Gucht
Spatial blurring in laser speckle imaging in inhomogeneous turbid media
published pages: , ISSN: 2045-2322, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-17010-z
Scientific Reports 7/1 2020-03-06
2017 Jan Maarten van Doorn, Luuk Lageschaar, Joris Sprakel, Jasper van der Gucht
Criticality and mechanical enhancement in composite fiber networks
published pages: , ISSN: 2470-0045, DOI: 10.1103/physreve.95.042503
Physical Review E 95/4 2020-03-06
2019 J. N. M. Boots, R. Fokkink, J. van der Gucht, T. E. Kodger
Development of a multi-position indentation setup: Mapping soft and patternable heterogeneously crosslinked polymer networks
published pages: 15108, ISSN: 0034-6748, DOI: 10.1063/1.5043628
Review of Scientific Instruments 90/1 2020-03-06
2018 Jan Maarten van Doorn, Joanne E. Verweij, Joris Sprakel, Jasper van der Gucht
Strand Plasticity Governs Fatigue in Colloidal Gels
published pages: , ISSN: 0031-9007, DOI: 10.1103/physrevlett.120.208005
Physical Review Letters 120/20 2020-03-06

Are you the coordinator (or a participant) of this project? Plaese send me more information about the "SOFTBREAK" project.

For instance: the website url (it has not provided by EU-opendata yet), the logo, a more detailed description of the project (in plain text as a rtf file or a word file), some pictures (as picture files, not embedded into any word file), twitter account, linkedin page, etc.

Send me an  email ( and I put them in your project's page as son as possible.

Thanks. And then put a link of this page into your project's website.

The information about "SOFTBREAK" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

More projects from the same programme (H2020-EU.1.1.)


The Enemy of the Good: Towards a Theory of Moral Progress

Read More  


The Mass Politics of Disintegration

Read More  

SUExp (2018)

Strategic Uncertainty: An Experimental Investigation

Read More