Synthesis of Complex Molecular Systems-The Foreseen Role of Organic Chemists

Tobias Schnitzer (Corresponding author), Ghislaine Vantomme (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


How to control the self-assembly of complex molecular systems is unknown. Yet, these complex molecular systems are fundamental for advances in material and biomedical sciences. A step forward is to transform one-step self-assembly into multistep synthesis involving covalent and noncovalent reactions. Key to this approach is to explore the chemical space at the frontiers of advanced covalent synthesis and supramolecular chemistry. Herein, we describe a selection of such reported cases and provide a guide for current limitations and insights for future directions. This outlook is meant to trigger collaborations between synthetic organic and supramolecular chemists, to expand the repertoire of organic syntheses working with supramolecular assemblies and thereby join forces to achieve stepwise emergence of molecular complexity in supramolecular systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2060-2070
Number of pages11
JournalACS Central Science
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2020


We thank the Swiss National Science Foundation for a Postdoc Mobility fellowship for T.S. This work was financially supported by The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO-VENI Grant 722.017.003). The ICMS Animation Studio is acknowledged for providing the artwork. We would like to thank Bert Meijer for fruitful discussions.

FundersFunder number
Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek


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