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Dynamic yet defined – self-assembly of small molecules in solution: colloid-like ionic clusters (ionoids) (project A2)
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) ;
We have recently discovered that small molecular building blocks with more than one interacting funtional group dynamically self assemble into non-trivial, non-random (thermal) structures in solution. This self-assembly into ionoids (as we termed them) takes place through a combination of preferential solvation, viscosity, van der Waals interactions together with long-range correlated electrostatics.
In this project in which two doctoral researchers will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Dariush Hinderberger and Prof. Dr. Daniel Sebastiani, we aim at deriving the full design principles that govern the formation of these dynamic structures from isotropic “clouds” of ions in solution through concepts of multiple non-covalent interactions.

Experimental Physical-Chemical Project Main methods that will be used:
– Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy
– Dynamic light scattering (DLS) and Electrophoretic light scattering (ELS)
– Chemical synthesis of the ionoid building blocks
– Static light and potentially x-ray scattering (SLS, SAXS/WAXS)
– Other physico-chemical characterization methods (e.g. calorimetry)
– Mathematical (analytical) description of the ionoid-formation incubation process (e.g. based on bifurcation theory)