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11. Nov 2020

Research Training Group | Beyond Amphiphilicity: Self-Organization of Soft Matter Via Multiple Noncovalent Interactions (GRK 2670)

Written by

Spokesman: Prof. Dr. Dariush Hinderberger, coordinator: Dr. Imme Sakwa-Waltz 
funding period 2021-2025 by DFG; website

About the doctoral program

Amphiphilicity is a well-established qualitative concept contributing to the understanding of self-assembly processes of molecules composed of two inherently incompatible units (hydrophilic and hydrophobic) in aqueous systems. Polyphilic molecules are more complex molecules, from small molecules to macromolecules, that have interaction patterns with at least two types of interactions, one of them based on amphiphilicity. Self-assembled soft matter systems attain their complexity through noncovalent interaction patterns of their molecular constituents with their environment, solvents, biomolecules, membranes, and surfaces.

The Research Training Group (RTG) is a research and training consortium that takes the vast and scattered knowledge and work on noncovalent interactions further to develop a research training that centers on dynamic structuring of polyphilic soft matter through multiple non-covalent interactions. The relevant self-assembly is dynamic on the pico- to microsecond scale but may often dominate the macroscopic length scale and time scales. This translates into the creation of order on multiple length scales in the presence of dynamics. The RTG wants to advance the understanding of the emergence of complexity in molecular systems, in the long run the RTG aims at uncovering design principles for nanostructured materials or aspects of self-assembly in biological systems. All studied systems are in or close to thermodynamic equilibrium or at least in long-lived metastable states. From the training perspective for students, it is highly illustrative to build research on complex structuring on soft matter on the often-used and seemingly simple concept of amphiphilicity. The RTG then goes beyond amphphilicity as a concept by extending the interaction patterns to understand and finally design complexity in soft matter.

This RTG combines existing competencies in simulation, design and synthesis, characterization and understanding of new materials and their properties. The research and educational concepts of the RTG go beyond the classical division into disciplines of chemistry and will offer doctoral researchers an excellent and broad education combining many facets of modern chemical, physical and mathematical methods. The RTG’s educational program will empower its doctoral researchers to become well-qualified scientists in academia and industry alike – with a unique combination of scientific training, professional training and strategic research training elements.


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Über Thomas Michael

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