CORDIS - EU research results

Programmed Nanostructuration of Organic Materials

Final Report Summary - PROGRAM-NANO (Programmed Nanostructuration of Organic Materials)

The biological world is a shining example and a source of inspiration when it comes to the organization of molecules. Nature has chosen the unlimited possibilities of self-assembly to precisely define the structure of molecules, organize them, and create a wide diversity of perfectly defined nanosystems having particular functions. The structure of viral capsids and cell membranes, the precise dye organization within photosynthetic reaction centers, the integration and disintegration dynamics of the microtubules forming the cell skeleton, or the polymorphism of DNA and proteins are just some representative examples.
The way molecules are organized into larger architectures is by means of non-covalent supramolecular interactions. Molecules can be "programmed" with chemical information in order to recognize and specifically associate to other molecules. The importance and complexity of these self-assembly processes represent a continuous inspiration to scientists in their quest for engineering complex functional nanostructures through a bioinspired "Bottom-Up" approach.
The group's research is centered in Molecular Engineering. Through the ERC-StG-granted “Programmed Nanostructuration of Organic Materials” (PROGRAM-NANO) project, our group broadly aims at improving or creating new functions in organic materials by rationally ordering functional molecules at the nanoscale using the tools of self-assembly. Concretely, we design and synthesize new functional molecules - from biologically relevant molecules to p-conjugated dyes -, program them with specific supramolecular information - in order to guide their assembly into a given complex nanostructure -, and study how the system's properties relate to molecular structure and supramolecular architecture. In collaboration with several groups of chemical physicists and molecular biologists, we are exploring unconventional and exciting applications of our nanostructured systems and materials in diverse multidisciplinary areas, such as organic optoelectronics, catalysis or biomedicine.