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Teaching Award of FU Berlin for "Molecular Diversity"

News from Feb 13, 2018

The Teaching Award of Freie Universität Berlin has been awarded to two projects, one of which is the new master course "Molecular Diversity - Emergent Properties in Chemical Reaction Networks".

The award-winning project is headed by Prof. Beate Koksch and Prof. Christoph Schalley. The team supervising the course included two Ph.D. students, Dorian Mikolajczak and Hendrik Schröder, and two students, Anthony Krause and Elena Petersen.

The course highlights the emergent properties of chemical reaction systems, which were long ignored by chemists because of the "paradigm of the pure compound". It intends to highlight, how surprising new properties emerge, when a diverse mixture of molecules that interact with each other in a reactivity network is used rather than a pure compound.

This so-called systems chemistry is an interesting and very new way to do – and to think – chemistry. Beyond the fundamental insight that we can get, new mate­rials as well as chemical systems can be deve­lo­ped. These systems are able to adapt and/or react upon the action of external stimuli, and sometimes even evolve. The lecture course aims at demonstrating the intriguing emergent properties of molecular systems and dynamic reaction networks with a number of quite recent examples from the forefront of chemical research. It breaks with the classical paradigm of the pure compound and takes a look at the fascinating and unexpected properties of complex mixtures of molecules in reactivity networks such as oscillating reactions, autonomously moving gels and many more.

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