Research Topic

Advanced Self-assembled Materials with Programmable Functions

About this Research Topic

The process of self-assembly―where building units of a system organize into an ordered and/or functional structure via the internal arrangement of molecules―has attracted researchers from a broad range of disciplines which varies from chemistry and material science to engineering and technology. Over the last two decades, the new knowledge generated through the concept of ‘self-assembly’ based fundamental research opened up the doors for potential applications in engineering. Particularly, this novel and inspiring methodological strategy of fabricating functional materials via self-assembly provide more opportunities in acquiring and optimization of desired morphological and physicochemical properties of a material through a proper designing and synthesis of molecular building blocks. Thus, amalgamating the chemistry of self-assembly along with materials science will lead to efficiently producing innovative functional materials with programmable functions via self-assembly.

Scientists involved in ‘self-assembly’ related research not only focus on extending a significant fundamental study but also target in solving practical issues in applied engineering during the development of advanced materials. Supramolecular interactions including stacking, charge transfer interactions, metal ions coordination driven self-assembly render novel mechanisms and efficient strategy to create materials whose properties could not be obtained only by using conventional covalent bonds. Interestingly, those supramolecular interactions further pave the way to prepare other advanced supramolecular architectures such as mechanically interlocked molecules. Moreover, self-assembly could be used to control morphology and dimensions of thus obtained materials from one dimensional (1D), two dimensional (2D) to three dimensional (3D) in nanoscale, as well as make those materials programmable and reversible based on the internal/external stimuli and by selectively introducing diverse functional groups. Further, the reversible modifying method and diverse functional groups could assist in achieving different geometries/topologies of materials, leading to the construction of multi-dimensional smart materials. Moreover, advanced self-assembled materials with programmable functions could balance morphologies and physiochemical properties, and have wide prospective applications to, organo/metallo gels, 2D materials, clean and energy materials, biomaterials, as well as optical materials.

The current Research Topic “Advanced Self-assembled Materials with Programmable Functions” will embrace related but diverse research disciplines and areas such as organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, supramolecular chemistry and self-assembly, polymer chemistry, coordination chemistry, colloid and surface chemistry, biomaterials, environmental science, nanotechnology, nano-science as well as functional materials science.

Specific themes:
• Advanced functional materials
• Self-assembly
• Reversible/controllable materials with programmable functions
• Supramolecular/noncovalent interactions
• Multi-dimensional materials
• Internal/External stimuli responsiveness
• Smart materials


Keywords: self-assembly, advanced functional materials, multi-dimensional materials, programmable functions, reversible/controllable materials, supramolecular/noncovalent interactions, internal/external stimuli responsiveness, smart materials


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The process of self-assembly―where building units of a system organize into an ordered and/or functional structure via the internal arrangement of molecules―has attracted researchers from a broad range of disciplines which varies from chemistry and material science to engineering and technology. Over the last two decades, the new knowledge generated through the concept of ‘self-assembly’ based fundamental research opened up the doors for potential applications in engineering. Particularly, this novel and inspiring methodological strategy of fabricating functional materials via self-assembly provide more opportunities in acquiring and optimization of desired morphological and physicochemical properties of a material through a proper designing and synthesis of molecular building blocks. Thus, amalgamating the chemistry of self-assembly along with materials science will lead to efficiently producing innovative functional materials with programmable functions via self-assembly.

Scientists involved in ‘self-assembly’ related research not only focus on extending a significant fundamental study but also target in solving practical issues in applied engineering during the development of advanced materials. Supramolecular interactions including stacking, charge transfer interactions, metal ions coordination driven self-assembly render novel mechanisms and efficient strategy to create materials whose properties could not be obtained only by using conventional covalent bonds. Interestingly, those supramolecular interactions further pave the way to prepare other advanced supramolecular architectures such as mechanically interlocked molecules. Moreover, self-assembly could be used to control morphology and dimensions of thus obtained materials from one dimensional (1D), two dimensional (2D) to three dimensional (3D) in nanoscale, as well as make those materials programmable and reversible based on the internal/external stimuli and by selectively introducing diverse functional groups. Further, the reversible modifying method and diverse functional groups could assist in achieving different geometries/topologies of materials, leading to the construction of multi-dimensional smart materials. Moreover, advanced self-assembled materials with programmable functions could balance morphologies and physiochemical properties, and have wide prospective applications to, organo/metallo gels, 2D materials, clean and energy materials, biomaterials, as well as optical materials.

The current Research Topic “Advanced Self-assembled Materials with Programmable Functions” will embrace related but diverse research disciplines and areas such as organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, supramolecular chemistry and self-assembly, polymer chemistry, coordination chemistry, colloid and surface chemistry, biomaterials, environmental science, nanotechnology, nano-science as well as functional materials science.

Specific themes:
• Advanced functional materials
• Self-assembly
• Reversible/controllable materials with programmable functions
• Supramolecular/noncovalent interactions
• Multi-dimensional materials
• Internal/External stimuli responsiveness
• Smart materials


Keywords: self-assembly, advanced functional materials, multi-dimensional materials, programmable functions, reversible/controllable materials, supramolecular/noncovalent interactions, internal/external stimuli responsiveness, smart materials


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

10 November 2020 Abstract
10 March 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

10 November 2020 Abstract
10 March 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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