Focus area of Complex Molecular Systems

Functional Supramolecular Systems

Constructing functional, life-like molecular systems

One of the most intriguing questions in the field is: Can we make artificial life?

Research into functional molecular systems provides the knowledge required for solving societal questions related to food, environment, energy and health. A fundamental understanding of the principles of molecular interaction and self-organization is crucial here. One of the most intriguing questions in the field is: Can we make artificial life?

With the grand challenge of constructing functional life-like molecular systems on the horizon, TU/e scientists with backgrounds in molecular sciences, engineering and theory closely work together on topics that are highly relevant to establishing progress in the field of functional molecular systems.

The research unfolds along four specific types of such molecular systems:

  • Adaptive Nanosystems, mastering the movement of nanoscopic objects will help to understand natural motility processes
  • Bio-inspired Molecular Systems, mastering biomolecular assembly and confinement in order to regulate biological processes
  • Nanoscopically Structured Functional Materials, obtaining control over the spatial and temporal arrangement of molecules in order to construct dynamic functional materials
  • Out-of-Equilibrium Systems, to construct functional molecular systems with emergent, synergistic properties

Related Researchers


The Eindhoven researchers in this field have initiated the establishment of the Dutch national Research Center for Functional Molecular Systems (FMS). Established with a € 26 million grant from the Gravitation program of the Dutch government, FMS brings together organic and macromolecular chemistry teams of TU/e, Radboud University Nijmegen, and the University of Groningen. Their aim is to extend the frontiers of chemical self-assembly to complete the single grand challenge: the construction of functional life-like molecular systems. TU/e professor Bert Meijer chairs the FMS management team.