Takuzo Aida of Tokyo University.

Takuzo Aida of Tokyo University. Photo credit: Eliana DurantiniUniversity

The annual Centre for Self-Assembled Chemical Structures (CSACS) Student Symposium took place this past September at the Université de Montréal. The event, which marked its 10th anniversary, brought together more than 100 faculty, students and post docs from CSACS-member research groups to share their work with the self-assembly community through oral and poster presentations. A highlight was the keynote lecture by Takuzo Aida of Tokyo University and the Riken Centre for Emergent Matter Science. Aida discussed advances in the molecular design of functional soft materials, presenting his laboratory’s work on Aqua Materials: self-standing, mouldable hydrogels with remarkable mechanical and chemical properties.

The program included 11 oral presentations and more than 30 student posters addressing such diverse themes as stimuli-responsive polymeric materials, photomechanical azobenzene crystals, two-dimensional organization of gold nanoparticles and DNA-based structures with therapeutic functions. The prize for best oral presentation was awarded to Elodie Rousset of Hanan group, Université de Montréal, for an outstanding talk on ruthenium complexes and polynuclear assemblies for photocatalyzed hydrogen production.