Congratulations to Prof. Hermans on receiving the prestigious ERC Consolidator grant!
This five-year grant will finance our group’s research in developing micrometer-scale supramolecular robots, showing complex interactions and self-organization similar to that of living systems. Drawing inspiration from the dynamic properties of microtubules, this project promises to make significant contributions to the field of Systems Chemistry, specifically focusing on out-of-equilibrium self-assembly driven by chemical reaction networks. We are thrilled to see this project come to life!
Master 1 or 2 level internships in flow chemistry to develop Grignard, Buchwald-Hartwig, and Lithiation reactions inside wall-less microfluidic devices. 3–9 month internships at any time in 2022. Please see all details here:
We are working on chemically fuelled supramolecular materials, and are looking for postdocs to develop new reaction cycles and time-programmable materials. You should have a background one (or more) of the following: supramolecular chemistry, systems chemistry, physical chemistry, non-linear dynamics, soft matter physics, microfluidics, or related. Positions should start from 1 March 2022 latest and are 1 year (renewable). You should be willing to apply for the Marie-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship (of course supported by Prof. Hermans). Please send your CV and motivation email directly to Prof. Hermans.
Despite the great advances in stereoselective synthesis and chromatographic separation methods during the last decades of the 20th century, chiral resolution is still a major challenge in pharmaceutical, food, pesticide and fragrance industries, and a very costly step in the production process. The possibility to achieve chiral separation through alternatives methods is therefore appealing and has found renewed interest in the past decade. One idea is that fluid flows could induce chiral migration, as initially proposed by Howard. Achieving separation of enantiomers without the use of a chiral stationary phase, but just by flow is not fully understood, but if successful would be of great benefit to the pharmaceutical industry. Over the past few years, we have studied increasingly smaller chiral structures. Your job is to shed light on the physical processes involved (you need a background in fluid dynamics, applied physics, or chemical engineering), and perform relevant experiments to push mechanical separation into the single-molecule domain. Knowledge on aggregation/crystallization behavior is beneficial.
The “Life-Cycle” ERC proposal aims to develop a new class of artificial supramolecular materials that are kept in sustained non-equilibrium states by continuous dissipation of chemical fuels. Supramolecular polymers in current artificial materials stick together through weak reversible bonds that can be exchanged by thermal energy. In contrast, natural supramolecular polymers such as those in the cytoskeletal network use chemical fuels such as adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to achieve an incredible adaptivity, motility, growth, and response to external inputs. Development of chemically fueled artificial supramolecular polymers should therefore lead to more life-like materials that could perform functions so far reserved only for living beings.
The proposed materials are based on supramolecular reaction cycles that have both positive and negative feedback in order to achieve emergent properties, such as oscillations and waves. Since the building blocks react, but also self-assemble they have built-in chemomechanical properties, much like in living materials such as the cytoskeleton.
https://rdcu.be/b3ZuFIt was a long process, but our work on wall-less liquid ‘antitubes’ is now online. Watch the short intro movie that explains the key concepts! Read for free here: https://rdcu.be/b3ZuF