Stephenson Distinguished Visitor Talk | Solid-state Molecular Materials Science

by Prof. Tom Runčevski (SMU, Dallas (US))

CFEL seminar rooms I-III (Bldg. 99)

CFEL seminar rooms I-III

Bldg. 99


Molecular solids represent a unique class of materials characterized by strong covalent bonds within the molecules themselves and weak non-covalent interactions between them. This intricate interplay of strong and weak inter- and intra-molecular forces can be harnessed to create materials with improved and/or emergent properties. A key aspect of (molecular) materials science involves understanding the structure of the material. Our focus is on the most fundamental molecules and molecular solids, which surprisingly have not received the scientific attention they deserve. Our work is dedicated to comprehending the extended structures of materials composed of molecular hydrogen, noble elements, and the smallest organic molecules—the fundamental building blocks of our Universe. Here, we will present part of our recent findings, focusing on Titan, Saturn's icy Moon. Shifting our attention to larger molecules, we recognize the importance of the synergy between strong and weak bonding in the structures of solid-state pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, pigments, preservatives, and many other commodity and fine chemicals. In this context, we will present our recent work on employing diverse kinetic and thermodynamic strategies to formulate materials with improved properties relevant to their applications in everyday life.