Von Gentransport und Gelen : Fusionen in der Chemie
Die Fusion von Atomen zu Molekülen ist das tägliche Brot von Chemikerinnen und Chemikern, denn ohne die Synthese neuer Moleküle geht in der Chemie wenig bis gar nichts. Darüber hinaus kann die Fusion von Molekülen zu supramolekularen Aggregaten neue Materialien mit interessanten und spannenden Eigenschaften hervorbringen.
Fusion happens everywhere in Chemistry, even though the term “fusion” in natural sciences is used to describe the reaction of two atomic nuclei to form a new, heavier atom accompanied by the release of energy. This type of fusion has been the subject of facts and fictions as it is considered by some to provide a possible solution to our energy problems. But also atoms or groups of atoms can fuse to form a molecule in which the atoms are held together by a covalent chemical bond. This type of fusion is the bread and butter business of chemists: The synthesis of molecules by the manipulation of chemical bonds. Furthermore, whole molecules can fuse to form aggregates. Within these aggregates the individual molecules are held together by very weak non-covalent interactions which can be easily broken also by changes in the surrounding. This allows such materials to respond to their environment, to sense changes and to adapt their properties to these changes. This is called supramolecular chemistry, one of the main research areas of the faculty of chemistry at our university. And supramolecular materials are promising for future applications as so called smart materials which one day might change our everyday lives.