Keynote speaker Prof. Dr. Bert Meijer

From supramolecular polymers to functional materials and systems


The intriguing prospects of molecular electronics, micro- and nano-technology, biomaterials, and the aim to close the gap between synthetic and biological molecular materials 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 nano-, meso- and macroscopic organization to arrive at 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.[1] Controlling the supramolecular interactions between molecular fragments made it easier to design materials with unconventional and responsive behavior. A large variety of external stimuli is to our disposal leading to the fabrication of novel materials. Different supramolecular approaches and selected external stimuli will be discussed in the lecture, with special emphasis on supramolecular polymers,[2] and materials with highly ordered morphologies that will change their properties on the action of light, pressure, temperature, or the addition of chemicals. In all cases the control over the position of the molecules in time and space is key to arrive at functionality.

[1] G. Vantomme, E.W. Meijer, The construction of supramolecular systems, Science 363, 1396-1397 (2019)
[2] T. Aida, E.W. Meijer, Supramolecular polymers – we’ve come full circle, Israel J. of Chem. 60, 33-47 (2020)

Biography Bert Meijer:
E.W. “Bert” Meijer is Distinguished University Professor in the Molecular Sciences, Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Eindhoven University of Technology, and co-director of the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems. After receiving his PhD degree at the University of Groningen with Hans Wynberg, he worked for 10 years in industry (Philips and DSM). In 1991 he was appointed in Eindhoven, while in the meantime he has part-time positions in Nijmegen, MPI-Mainz, and Santa Barbara, CA. Bert Meijer is a member of many editorial advisory boards, including Advanced Materials and is associate editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Bert Meijer has received several awards, including the Spinoza Award (2001), the ACS Award for Polymer Chemistry (2006), the AkzoNobel Science Award (2010), the ACS Cope Scholar Award (2012), the Prelog Medal (2014), the Nagoya Gold Medal (2017), the Chirality Medal (2018), the Van ‘t Hoff Medal (2022) and the GDCh Staudinger medal in 2022. In 2020 he is knighted by the king to be Commander in the Order of the Netherlands Lion. He is an honorable member of several academies and societies, including the US National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Science, where he is appointed to Academy Professor in 2014. Since 2022 he is also a visiting professorial fellow of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.