Jean-Marie Lehn

Self-organization of Functional Supramolecular Systems


Abstract

Supramolecular chemistry aims at constructing highly complex chemical systems and advanced materials by designing arrays of components held together by intermolecular forces. The implementation of molecular recognition and information offers means for controlling the evolution and the architecture of supramolecular entities and of organised phases as they spontaneously build up from their components through self-organisation.

The design of molecular information controlled, “programmed” and functional self-organising systems provides an original approach to nanoscience and nanotechnology. The spontaneous but controlled generation of well-defined, functional supramolecular architectures of nanometric size through self-organization represents a means of performing programmed engineering and processing of nanomaterials. It offers a very powerful alternative to nanofabrication and to nanomanipulaion, for the generation of functional nanostructures.

The combination of the features of supramolecular systems: - information and programmability, - dynamics and reversibility, - combinatorics and structural diversity, points towards the emergence of the concept of adaptive chemistry. Together with the corresponding fields of physics and biology, it constitutes a science of informed matter, of organized, adaptive, complex matter.


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