Boundary-crossing science

The network is sponsored by EPSRC to best determine how the field of Directed Assembly can develop strategically over the next 50 years. The science itself is boundary-crossing, reaching beyond traditional discipline-based limits, both in the fundamentals it draws upon and in its wide-ranging impact.

Developing a deeper understanding of assembly processes is vital for creation of new materials of great importance, from pharmaceuticals and food-products to catalysts and super-conductors. We are working closely with industrial end-users of our research to ensure our game-changing science is put to use in meeting the challenges UK industry faces.
Our interests in biological and biomimetic systems have synergies with the work of the Synthetic Components Network, applications in the development of medical devices and great impact in the field of human health, hence we also look to take part in collaborative activities with scientists sponsored by BBSRC and MRC.
In all our research across all our themes, experiments carried out at the STFC-funded facilities are vital for understanding material structure and function. The power of the synchrotron, neutron and laser facilities at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories and STFC-sponsored facilities at ESRF [link] enable our network scientists to study structures and assembly processes over a range of scales and environmental conditions.
We also look to draw on the best practice of other fields to enhance the network’s effectiveness - working with new media analysts through the British Library Growing Knowledge programme to examine collaborative working techniques, and with educators and communicators to pass on the excitement of our research to the wider community.
The Directed Assembly Network is one of three Chemistry Grand Challenge Networks sponsored by EPSRC. The others are the 'Dial-a-Molecule' Network and the CO2Chem Network.