Invited Talks

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In regular intervals outstanding scientists are invited to give a lecture at ETH Zurich. 

Previous Invited Lectures

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Prof. Clément Sanchez

On 27 April 2016 we had a MaP talk given by Prof. Clément Sanchez from Collège de France on:

Integrative Materials Chemistry: Coupling Chemistry, Soft Matter and Processing

Hybrid inorganic-organic materials can be either homogeneous systems derived from monomers and miscible organic and inorganic components, or heterogeneous and phase-separated systems where at least one of the components’ domains has a dimension ranging from a few Å to several nanometers. Hybrid phases can also be used to nanostructure or texture new inorganic nanomaterials (porous or non porous). The versatile synthetic conditions provided by bottom up strategies such as reactive molecular precursors or clusters, tunable processing temperatures and solvents and the adjustable rheology of the colloidal state allow for the mixing of the organic and inorganic components at the nanometer scale in virtually any ratio. These features, and the advancement of organometallic chemistry and polymer and sol-gel processing, make possible a high degree of control over both composition and structure (including nanostructure) of these materials, which present tunable structure-property relationships. This, in turn, makes it possible to tailor and fine-tune properties (mechanical, optical, electronic, thermal, chemical…) in very broad ranges, and to design specific systems for applications. Hybrid materials can be processed as gels, monoliths, thin films, fibers, particles or powders or can be intermediates to design materials having complex shapes or hierarchical structures. This lecture will describe some recent advances on integrative chemistry that allows via a chemistry-process coupling to tailor made functional inorganic and hybrid materials. Some of their properties will be discussed.

flyer with abstract (PDF, 259 KB)

Prof. Stephen Mann

On 12 April 2016 Prof. Stephen Mann from the University of Bristol gave a MaP Talk on:

Material Futures: Towards Synthetic Cellularity via Protocell Design & Construction

The design and construction of compartmentalized materials ensembles for modelling complex biological systems, exploring the origin of life, and advancing future living technologies is attracting considerable interest in a wide range of research communities. In this talk, I will review some recent experiments undertaken in my laboratory that provide steps towards synthetic cellularity using bioinspired materials chemistry principles and techniques. I will discuss four new protocell models based on: (i) nanoparticle self-assembly (colloidosomes), (ii) interfacial assembly of protein-polymer nanoconjugates (proteinosomes), (iii) micro-droplet formation (coacervation), and (iv) hybrids of the above. I will use these new model systems to discuss pathways towards chemical cognition, modulated reactivity, basic signaling pathways and non-equilibrium activation in compartmentalized artificial micro-ensembles.

flyer with abstract (PDF, 247 KB)

Prof. Ludwik Leibler (Aldrich Lecture)

On 22 October 2015 we had our First Aldrich Lecture given by Prof. Ludwik Leibler from ESPCI ParisTech on:

Nanoparticles dispersions as adhesives for gels and biological tissues

Adhesives and glues are made of polymers. We introduce a novel concept of adhesion by particle solutions. We will demonstrate that to make a strong junction between two surfaces it suffices to spread a drop of a particle solution on one surface and press the other into a contact for few seconds. We will show the efficiency of the method, which we call nanobridging, for natural and synthetic hydrogels and various sorts of particles such as silica or iron oxide. We then extend the concept of nanobridging to biological tissues and demonstrate that the method can be used in vivo to close wounds even for soft organs such as liver and in hemorrhagic conditions. We will also show how particles can be used for hemostasis after organ resection. The approach proved easy to apply, rapid and efficient in situations when conventional methods of suturing or stapling are traumatic or fail.

Many thanks to our sponsor Sigma Aldrich!

MaP Aldrich Lecture 2015 with Prof. Ludwik Leibler

Prof. Jiwoong Park

On 19 June 2015 we had a MaP talk given by Prof. Jiwoong Park from Cornell University on:

Coloring, Stitching, and Twisting for Atomically Thin Circuitry

2D layered materials are like colored papers: they can be glued, stacked, cut and folded to form integrated devices with atomic thickness. In this talk, I will discuss how different 2D materials can be grown with distinct electrical and optical properties (coloring), how they can be connected laterally to form pattered circuits (stitching) and how their interaction with light can be designed by controlling the interlayer rotation and the valley degree of freedom (twisting).

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