Title: “From Supramolecular Polymers to Functional Systems and Materials”
Although the word polymer was already coined by Jöns Jakob Berzelius in 1833, it was through the pioneering work of Hermann Staudinger, that it was recognized that the macroscopic properties of polymers both in solution and solid state are the result of the macromolecular nature of the molecules. The impressive progress in supramolecular chemistry, however, paved the way to design polymers and polymeric materials that lack the macromolecular structure. Instead, highly directional secondary interactions are used to assemble many organic molecules into a polymer array, now called supramolecular polymers. Especially ordered arrays of molecules are highly interesting due to the cooperative nature of their supramolecular polymerization processes and the chirality of the polymers formed. Using this concept, functional materials are made with applications in biomedical and energy-related topic. Moreover, the similarities between natural and synthetic systems allows for the discovery of new concepts. In the lecture we illustrate our approach using some examples out of our own laboratories primarily based on the concept of supramolecular polymers. In all cases the control over the position of the molecules in time and space is key to arrive at functionality.