Advanced analytical methods are crucial to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between structure, dynamics, processing, and ultimately the functionality of complex molecular systems. TU/e researchers are pushing this field to new frontiers and develop new sophisticated approaches at the forefront of what is technically possible. They have taken the initiative to establish 4D-CMS: a national characterization center for 4D-analysis of complex molecular systems.
To understand the working mechanisms of complex molecular systems it is imperative to obtain deep insights into the evolution of morphology, structure and chemical composition, during their formation as well as their performance. To study the behavior of complex molecular systems in their native environment and with the highest resolution, TU/e researchers are developing characterization methods using state-of-the-art technology such as cryoTEM, SAXS, SRM (STORM, PAINT), CD, ITC, MS, MRI, µCT, (confocal) fluorescence microscopy, AFM, DLS/SLS and EM. This has already yielded important new insights in the way these systems are formed and the way they perform.
Four-dimensional analysis of complex molecular systems
Ultimately, correlating data of a plethora of different techniques at all relevant length scales at any point in time on one specific sample is key to understanding and ultimately steering structure – property relationships. This topic of correlative analysis is of great importance for numerous disciplines, and the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS) at TU/e has therefore taken the initiative for a National Characterization Center for 4D-analysis of Complex Molecular Systems: 4D CMS.
4D CMS provides a complementary suite of state-of-the-art in situ techniques – and in particular their correlation in time and space. This allows studying complex molecular systems in real time, with nanometer resolution, probing the kinetics of growth processes, the structural dynamics of soft (macro)molecular assemblies, as well as their mobility during their formation and during their performance.