Molecule-based materials promise both unprecedented structures and properties as well as processing and manufacturing options. These materials are characterized by weak, competing interactions between the molecular constituents that give rise to responsive and adaptive features, providing sought after solutions for such innovative technologies such as self-healing or intelligent drug-delivery. Molecular self-assembly driven by the intrinsic propensity of molecules to organize into complex architectures paves the route towards next generation processing technologies as it occurs spontaneously at room temperature in solutions. Likewise, low-impact disassembly of the materials into the molecular components offers novel opportunities for recycling. Through the judicious choice of carefully instructed molecular or macromolecular components, interactions, and processing conditions, the structure and properties of the resulting materials can be controlled at all length scales. Like semiconductors in the 20th century, molecular materials will shape our future and will have a profound impact on all aspects of society, including quality of life, environment, and prosperity.
The Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy engages in all aspects of materials research, including synthesis, device fabrication, as well as processing and characterization of molecular and macromolecular materials. Synthesis embraces organic and inorganic compounds, metal complexes, carbon materials as well as polymers and solid state materials. The applications range from light harvesting, light-emitting devices, cage compounds for sensing and gas storage, supramolecular catalysis for water splitting, diamond materials for optics, organic semiconductors, intelligent drug delivery for cancer therapy, all the way to biomaterials for tissue engineering and responsive polymers. The Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy offers state-of-the-art characterization tools to address all length scales of complex materials including scanning probe microscopy, liquid and solid-state NMR, X-ray scattering, all the way to sophisticated electron microscopy techniques.