The production of the next generation of functional soft systems and materials capable of meeting the current and future demands of society in a sustainable manner will require both new technologies and highly trained scientists. In this respect, supramolecular chemistry and self-assembled materials provide a powerful approach to developing new molecular topologies from nano to microscale with emerging properties, such as healability, recyclability and facile processability. The SASSYPOL (hierarchical Self ASSemblY of POLymeric soft systems) ITN will train the next generation of European scientists with the skills necessary to overcome such future demands and simultaneously develop new strategies for the preparation of hierarchically self-assembled polymeric soft systems, which greatly impact important fields such as biomedicine, energy, composite materials, sensing and high-throughput technologies. To this end, it unites many of the leading academic experts in the areas of supramolecular and polymer chemistry in Europe with partners from the industrial sector.
The major objectives of research and training within the SASSYPOL ITN encompass the following:
• To develop a toolbox of supramolecular interactions for the manipulation of soft matter across many size domains extending from nano to micro scale
• To identify and develop novel applications of supramolecular materials in a wide range of fields including biomedical devices, cell manipulation, microfluidics, catalysis, and water and gas purification
• To gain a deeper understanding of the factors that control self assembly of functional materials through iterative cycles of modelling, synthesis and detailed characterisation
• To train the next generation of supramolecular scientist in the design and synthesis of functional polymeric materials using the tools of self ssembly
• To offer training in computational modelling of hierarchically ordered molecular systems
• To offer extensive training in state-of-the-art analytical methods for the characterisation of supramolecular polymeric systems including: ITC, novel NMR spectroscopic techniques, thermal characterisation, optical microscopy, mechanical analysis, and a variety of scattering techniques
• To provide the young researchers with in-depth training in the scientific background of this ITN: five network-wide training modules (TM), one summer school and one winter school will complement local training of the host institutions with participation of experts outside the network
• To develop the young researchers’ complementary skills extending beyond research management to include personal transferable skills; this ITN will offer specifically designed local and networkwide training in the selected topics.