Prof. Masatomo Iwasa visiting

Last week (1-8 Sept. ’14) we had a great visit of or colleague Prof. Masatomo Iwasa from the Aichi Institute of Technology (Japan). We’re trying to address the simulation of dissipative  supramolecular systems, which is of great importance to understand our experimental systems.

Looking for PhD Student for National MRT grant (deadline May 15th 2014)!

JOB DESCRIPTION (see French project description below)
We are looking for a highly motivated and talented PhD student to work in the Hermans Lab (Laboratory of Nonequilibrium Complex Systems) on out-of-equilibrium supramolecular chemistry. We are located in ISIS, an institute of the University of Strasbourg (ranked no. 17 in Chemistry worldwide). ISIS houses two Nobel prize laureates in Chemistry (1987 and 2013), and is very international (> 50 different nationalities). The Hermans lab is a young research group with currently 6 members (see our website for recent publications). You will be trained in supramolecular chemistry, and be guided intensively by Dr. Thomas Hermans, the group leader.

The applicant will need to apply to a National grant that can fund the entire PhD trajectory of 3 years. See application procedure in French here ( If you don’t speak French, it’s not a problem. Please send us the following documents:

* A full Curriculum Vitae
* A copy of your Bachelor and Master diploma (in case you do not have your Master yet, a document stating you will receive it on a specific date in 2014).
* A list of the grades you obtained during your Bachelor and Master (so far).
* The following form (

We would be happy to assist you with your application. Please contact us as soon as possible (deadline for application is May 15th 2014)! Applications from any country will be considered. In June there will be interview rounds organized by a special board within the University that can in principle be done by Skype, or in Strasbourg (if you live close by). You will have a good chance of obtaining this prestigious grant only if your grades are sufficiently high, and you are able to defend the project (

One of the great challenges in the field of supramolecular chemistry is to obtain molecular assemblies with a well-defined shape and molecular weight [1]. Such mono-disperse structures are more likely to lead to large scale organization, of key importance in materials science and for biological applications. A viable approach is to induce an anti-cooperative assembly mechanism, by for example steric hindrance [1] or, as we and others have recently shown, by electrostatic repulsion [2,3]. In this project we will try a revolutionary new methodology to control the length of molecular assemblies using thermal gradients. The molecular assemblies will be studied using a range of optical techniques (UV-absorption, fluorescence and circular dichroism).

L’un des grands défis dans le domaine de la chimie supramoléculaire est d’obtenir des assemblages moléculaires avec une forme bien définie [1]. Ces structures mono-dispersées sont meilleures pour l’organisation à grande échelle et sont d’une importance capitale dans la science des matériaux et pour les applications biologiques. Une approche viable est d’induire un mécanisme de montage anti-coopérative, par exemple pour l’encombrement stérique [1] ou, comme nous l’avons montré récemment, par repulsion électrostatique [2,3]. Dans ce projet, nous allons essayer une méthode révolutionnaire pour contrôler la longueur des assemblages moléculaires en utilisant des gradients thermiques, qui seront étudiés en utilisant une gamme de techniques optiques (UV-absorption, la fluorescence et le dichroïsme circulaire).

1. Stupp, S. I. et al. Supramolecular Materials: Self-Organized Nanostructures. Science 276, 384 –389 (1997).
2. Besenius, P. et al. Controlled Supramolecular Oligomerization of C3-Symmetrical Molecules in Water: The Impact of Hydrophobic Shielding. Chem. Eur. J. 17, 5193–5203 (2011).
3. Schaefer, C. et al. Controlling the Cooperativity in the Supramolecular Polymerization of Ionic Discotic Amphiphiles via Electrostatic Screening. ACS Macro Lett. 1, 830–833 (2012).

New group members

We welcome Alessandro Sorrenti (postdoc), Sicen Liu (Master 1 student), and Nathan Fuchs (Master 1 student) to the group (all started on March 24th 2014)!