Organization profile

Organisational profile

From the start in 1991, the research of the group has been focused on the design, synthesis,
characterization and possible applications of new functional molecular architectures, such as
dendrimers, semi‐conducting oligomers/polymers and several supramolecular units, with chirality as a muse. In more recent years, the group moved its focus to synthesize and study complex molecular systems. This new research theme is a logical next step in the self‐assembly towards molecular architectures using multiple components to reach novel functionalities. As a result, the research over the last seven years addresses more directly the challenging question “How far can we push chemical self‐assembly?” Several independent research lines have been initiated, ranging from detailed mechanistic investigations in the self‐assembly processes of different molecular structures (e.g., the formation of ordered arrays, both under thermodynamic control as by using kinetic experiments) to the design, non‐covalent synthesis and use of artificial mimics of enzymes and extracellular matrices. Recently a renewed interest in functional supramolecular materials for electronics and robotics makes use of our knowledge to design and synthesize molecular units that self‐assemble in a controlled way to ordered materials at the mesoscale. The research of the group aims at closing the gap between organic chemistry, polymer chemistry and chemical biology by making use of well‐controlled supramolecular chemistry protocols. By introducing the concept of multi‐step non‐covalent synthesis of molecular systems from well‐defined small and large molecules, it aims at synthesizing and studying artificial systems that are not known in the laboratories today and where the position of all molecules in the system are controlled with respect to time and space. Moreover, external stimuli addressing these properties to arrive at dynamic functions are investigated both experimentally and theoretically.