The proposed research will focus on the design, synthesis and applications of well-defined supramolecular
polymers aiming to exploit the reversibility and responsiveness of the supramolecular interactions in combination
with solvophobic interactions to develop responsive 'smart' materials in aqueous solution. Applications of such
materials are envisioned in switchable catalysts, responsive viscosity/gelation modifiers as well as sensors with a
memory function and adaptive drug delivery vehicles. Additionally, the proposed research will provide novel
insights into the fundamental questions of dynamic self-assembly, especially in aqueous solution.
To achieve these challenging goals, the applicant will apply a variety of synthetic organic methods to design and
synthesize the supramolecular binding motifs. In addition, living and controlled polymerization methods will be
applied to prepare well-defined polymer structures with defined end-groups, temperature or pl-I responsiveness and
chirality. The combination of these research areas will allow exploration of the area of well-defined
The proposed research program on well-defined supramolecular polymers will consist of three focus areas:
A. Dynamic main chain supramolecular polymers in water;
B. Polymers with site-specific supramolecular interactions to control polymer folding;
C. Dynamic multicomponent self-assembly of well-defined polymer architectures.
These focus areas will be discussed in more detail in the following.