Saul Winstein Lecture - Prof. Bert Meijer

Thu, Nov 7 4:00pm
Court of Sciences 50
Speaker Prof. Bert Meijer

The non-covalent synthesis of supramolecular systems and materials

The intriguing prospects of molecular electronics, nanotechnology, biomaterials, and the aim to close the gap between synthetic and biological molecular systems are important ingredients to study the cooperative action of molecules in the assembly towards functional supramolecular materials and systems. The design and synthesis of well-defined supramolecular architectures requires a balanced choice between covalent and non-covalent synthesis of the different fragments. For synthetic chemists, the non-covalent synthesis of these supramolecular architectures is regarded as one of the most challenging objectives in science: How far can we push chemical assembly processes and can we get control over the kinetic instabilities of the non-covalent architectures made? Moreover the increasing number of different components in the assembly processes increases the complexity of the system, as many competing events occur and pathway selection is needed. Mastering this complexity with a combination of experiments and simulations is a prerequisite to achieve the challenges set in creating functional materials and systems. In the lecture we illustrate our approach using a number of examples out of our own laboratories, with the aim to come to new strategies for multi-step non-covalent synthesis of functional supramolecular materials and systems.

As a tribute to the seminal contribution of Saul Winstein to chemistry, I will give special attention in my lecture to the physical organic aspects of the crucial role of solvents in the different assembly processes.