March Seminar: Photoresponsive soft materials made by molecular self-assembly—Mar. 14

Please join us for the March MIT.nano Seminar Series:

Dr. Bart Jan Ravoo

Bart Jan Ravoo headshotProfessor
Organic Chemistry Institute and Center for Soft Nanoscience
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany

Date: Monday, March 14, 2022
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST
Location: Zoom webinar; register to receive the link.


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Self-assembly is emerging as a superior method to prepare adaptive and responsive nanomaterials. The structure and function of these materials is entirely determined by the dynamic and weak interactions of the constituent molecular “building blocks” of the material. Since the inherent interactions are weak, these versatile materials readily respond to even small changes and stimuli in their environment. Moreover, these materials are biomimetic and can contain large amounts of water, so applications in biomedical technology are possible.

Bart Jan Ravoo research image

This lecture will highlight recent work on self-assembled supramolecular nanomaterials that respond to light. In all these nanomaterials, molecular photoswitches are key components. The improved molecular design of photoswitches enables the bottom-up self-assembly of tailor-made functional materials and interfaces. Amongst others, light responsive hydrogels, foams, monolayers, adhesives and solids will be discussed.



Bart Jan Ravoo obtained his graduate and postgraduate degrees from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. He graduated in physical organic chemistry in 1994 and obtained his PhD degree in 1998 under joint supervision of Prof. Jan Engberts and Dr. Wilke Weringa. His PhD thesis concerned vesicles of polymerizable lipids. During this period, Ravoo was a visiting student in Göttingen, Marseille, Leicester and Haifa. He moved to University College Dublin, Ireland, in 1999 for a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Raphael Darcy. In the summer of 1999, he obtained the Schering-Plough Newman Scholarship in Organic Chemistry at University College Dublin, for a period of three years. His work in Ireland centered on cyclodextrins as building blocks for supramolecular assembly.

In 2002, Ravoo was appointed as assistant professor in the Laboratory of Supramolecular Chemistry and Technology (Director: Prof. David Reinhoudt) at the University of Twente, The Netherlands. His main research topics in Twente included self-assembly and molecular recognition in water, and the development of functional self-assembled monolayers for nanoelectronics, soft lithography, and nanofabrication.

In 2007, Ravoo became a professor at the University of Münster, Germany, where he is in charge of the Synthesis of Nanoscale Systems group. From 2012 until 2014 he served as Dean of the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy and, since 2016, has been the co-director of the Center for Soft Nanoscience (SoN). Ravoo is also the spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center (CRC 1459) Intelligent Matter.