Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


DIREVOLFUN Report Summary

Project ID: 259352
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: United Kingdom

Final Report Summary - DIREVOLFUN (Directed Evolution of Function within Chemical Systems: Adaptive Capsules and Polymers)

A signature trait of living systems is their ability to dynamically adjust to features of their environments, adapting to stay alive, and evolving to take better advantage of the resources in their environments. Research activities aimed at creating artificial systems capable of adapting to their environments have gained attention in recent times. One approach in this direction deals with the synthesis of complex supramolecules and the study of their properties. In this regard, container molecules have been a topic of great interest due to their well-defined structure and ease of synthesis from simple components. In addition, the inner phases of these capsules consist of well-defined void space within which the chemical reactivity and dynamics of guest molecules may be altered. Over the course of the research project (DirEvolFun) we have developed a number of well-defined, self-organizing metal-organic capsules. Our research efforts have shed light on the underlying mechanism of the formation of such supramolecules from the readily available subcomponents and transmission of stereochemical information within such assemblies. Importantly, the dynamic nature of such assemblies has allowed us to alter/transform the structures by manipulating the reaction conditions. Moreover, we have utilized the host-properties of these systems for a variety of applications such as catalysis and selective sensing of analytes. Another section of the project deals with the development of novel dynamic polymer and hydrogel systems from simple building blocks. These systems were found to exhibit a variety of interesting properties such as heat-set gelation, thermochromism and photoluminescence. We have also studied the photophysical and electronic properties of these polymers and were incorporated into light emitting electrochemical cells (LECs). In summary, the outcomes this research project (DirEvolFun) has been substantial in generating geometrically specific dynamic systems from simple, yet information rich, building blocks and provides a platform for the creation of future functional materials.

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United Kingdom
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