6/7/2011, Düsseldorf / Germany


Henkel confers research award for outstanding doctorate thesis

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Light-triggered fragrance

Imagine your favorite T-shirt suddenly emitting a wonderful aroma as you step into the sunlight in the morning: what a perfect start to the day! Although this may sound rather futuristic and unlikely, it may well become a reality thanks to the doctorate thesis written by scientist Dr. Olga Hinze of Cologne University. Henkel has recognized her research with a 3,000 euro stipend under the “Laundry & Home Care Research Award” scheme.

In her exceptionally well researched thesis, prepared under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Axel G. Griesbeck, Hinze investigates the possibilities of “capturing” scent molecules that are stable in the dark and only release their aroma when exposed to light. These new fragrances would remain active and detectable long after the fabric has been washed as none of the scent molecules are lost, provided that the item is put away somewhere dark. Only once the item is removed from the wardrobe or cupboard and exposed to the light are the molecules released. Hinze has developed a range of new substances for such applications, investigated their stability and also the fragrance release mechanism induced by light.

This is the second “Laundry & Home Care Award” to have been conferred by the eponymous Henkel business sector. “As a company active in research, Henkel has a huge vested interest in encouraging the work of young scientists. In making this award, we hope to encourage others to engage in the scientific world of washing and cleaning,” explains Prof. Dr. Thomas Müller-Kirschbaum, Head of Global Research and Development and of Supply Chain Management at Henkel’s Laundry & Home Care business sector.“Dr. Hinze has taken research in this field a major step forward. It is a major challenge in detergent development to find precisely the right quantity of fragrant substances for a product and to ensure that these last as long as possible."

Henkel AG & Co. KGaA