Our research interests are at the interface of synthetic organic, biological and supramolecular materials chemistry. The general objective is to create function from scratch, using methods such as multistep organic synthesis, dynamic covalent chemistry, self-assembly, molecular recognition, and so on. Design strategies often apply lessons from nature and aim to integrate unorthodox or "exotic" interactions. Current functions of interest are catalysis with anion-π interactions and chalcogen bonds, cellular uptake (strain-promoted, thiol-mediated) and fluorescent probes (mechanosensitive). Other functions covered include transport of electrons in photosystems, or ions and larger molecules in lipid bilayer membranes and sensing systems.
PhD and postdoctoral researchers working on these projects obtain top-level expertise in target-oriented multistep organic synthesis. The evaluation of the created functional systems broadens the experience with various methods used in different subdomains. The time devoted to the evaluation of systems depends on interest - from 1% to 99% (!) -, including optional in-depth follow-up in fruitful in-house collaborations (computational chemistry, ultrafast photophysics, cellular uptake, GUV imaging).