Plenary sessions


The line-up of the plenary speakers is outstanding and these events are wonderful opportunities to learn and to be inspired. The collective wisdom, perspective, and leadership experience of the three individuals will be a highlight of the conference week.

Three outstanding speakers have already confirmed their participation:

  • Prof. Ben Feringa - University of Groningen, The Netherlands - Nobel Laureate in Chemistry (2016)
  • Prof. André Geim - University of Manchester, U.K. - Nobel Laureate in Physics (2010)
  • Prof. Ulrike Diebold - TU Vienna, Austria

It's hard to imagine a richer offering of speakers. And that's the point of the plenary sessions: they provide a shared experience for all conference attendees.

Plenary sessions are a time for a break from the details of your week, a time to be stimulated and to reflect on the values that brought us to the field and that continue to motivate us each day.


Preliminary program:

Tuesday 1 June, 2021 (8:45 - 9:30)



Responsive Materials and Molecular Motors

Ben L. Feringa

University of Groningen, Stratingh Institute for Chemistry
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Nijenborgh 4, 9747 AG, Groningen
The Netherlands

Nobel Laureate in Chemistry (2016)



The fascinating molecular motors and machines that sustain life offer a great source of inspiration to the molecular explorer at the nanoscale.   Among the major challenges ahead in the design of complex artificial molecular systems and is the control over dynamic properties and responsive far-from-equilibrium behavior. Chemical systems and adaptive materials ultimately require integration of structure, organization and function of multi-component dynamic molecular assemblies at different hierarchical levels. A major goal is to achieve and exploit translational and rotary motion.

In this presentation the focus is on the dynamics of functional molecular systems as well as triggering and assembly processes. We design motors in which molecular motion is coupled to specific functions. Responsive behavior will be illustrated in self-assembly and responsive materials with a focus on cooperative action, amplification along multiple length scales and 2D and 3D organized systems. The design, synthesis and functioning of rotary molecular motors and machines will also be presented with a prospect toward future dynamic molecular systems and responsive materials

Information on

- Molecular Machines: Nature, September 2015

- Molecular Switches:  Chemistry World, June 2016

- Vision statement “Materials in Motion”: Adv. Mater. 2020


Wednesday 2 June, 2021 (8:45 - 9:30)


Prof. André Geim
University of Manchester

Nobel Laureate in Physics (2010)


Thursday 3 June, 2021 (8:45 - 9:30)

       Prof. Ulrike Diebold
TU Vienna