Takuzo Aida and Bert Meijer duo-seminar

Monday, 2 October, 2023

Stefano Di Stefano is pleased to invite to the seminar:

Supramolecular Polymerization: Its Significance and Applications

 Takuzo Aida, University of Tokyo, Japan

Controlling function by using the dynamic nature of supramolecular systems

 E.W. Meijer, Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands


The seminar will be held in La Ginestra Hall, Ed. Cannizzaro (CU014), thursday 12 october at 2.30 pm.


Abstract Supramolecular Polymerization: Its Significance and Applications - Takuzo Aida

About a century ago, Dr. Hermann Staudinger substantiated the existence of ultralong molecules and won the long-term debate against the colloidal theory to establish polymer science. Needless to say, polymer science has made tremendous contributions to the progress of human society, although it coincidentally brought about a critical environmental issue to tackle. In this lecture, I would like to present the significance and applications of supramolecular polymerization, a modernized version of the colloidal approach to polymeric materials. Supramolecular polymers attract attention not only because they are 100% recyclable but also they can be designed to be environmentally friendly, self-healable, responsive, and/or adaptive [1–4]. In 1988, we reported the first prototype of supramolecular polymerization, featuring the formation of a 1D polymeric assembly using an amphiphilic porphyrin with water-soluble oligoether side chains as the monomer and have made fundamental contributions to this field [5]. Representative examples include (1) nanotubular supramolecular polymerization, (2) chain-growth supramolecular polymerization, (3) supramolecular block copolymerization, (4) stereoselective supramolecular polymerization, and (5) thermally bisignate supramolecular polymerization. These contributions are integral elements of conventional polymer science, filling in the critical gap between supramolecular and conventional polymerizations. Furthermore, we have expanded the basic concept of supramolecular polymerization into the noncovalent design of innovative soft materials. Successful examples include the developments of (i) bucky gels, (ii) aquamaterials, (iii) mechanically robust self-healable materials, (iv) supramolecular polymers of biomolecular machines, (v) ferroelectric columnar liquid crystals, (vi) reorganizable and adaptive core-shell columnar liquid crystals, (vii) an elastic MOF with a densely catenated backbone, (viii) solvent-free autocatalytic supramolecular polymerization, and (ix) fluorous nanochannels for ultrafast desalination by supramolecular polymerization. I will highlight some of these examples to show the significance of supramolecular polymerization for realizing sustainable society [6–10].

[1] Aida, Meijer, Stupp, Science 2012, 335, 813–817.

[2] Aida, Meijer, Israel J. Chem. 2020, 60, 33–47.

[3] Aida, Adv. Matter. Essay, 2020, 1908140.

[4] Meijer, Aida et al., Prog. Polym. Sci. 2020, 101250.

[5] Aida et al. Chem. Commun. 1988, 391–393.

[6] Yanagisawa, Aida et al,, Science 2018, 359, 72–76.

[7] Fujisawa, Aida et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2021, 143, 37. 15279–15285.

[8] Meng, Aida, Sato et al., Nature 2021, 598, 298–303.

[9] Chen, Aida et al., Nature Mat. 2022, 21, 253.

[10] Itoh, Chen, Aoki, Aida et al., Science 2022, 367, 738–743.

Abstract Controlling function by using the dynamic nature of supramolecular systems - di E.W. Meijer

 The intriguing prospects of nanotechnology, sustainability, 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. For 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 properties and functions of the responsive and adaptive 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 to arrive at the state required for the function. 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 several examples out of our own laboratories. In all cases the control over the position of the molecules in time and space is needed.

[1] T. Aida, E.W. Meijer, Supramolecular polymers - we've come full circle, Israel J. of Chem. 60, 33-47 (2020)

[2] G. Vantomme, E.W. Meijer, The construction of supramolecular systems, Science 363, 1396-1397 (2019)

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