This conference has been deferred to 2023 due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check back soon for the 2023 schedule.
Macroscopic machines have enabled the industrial revolution and have profoundly changed how humans live, work, and interact with each other. They have also been crucial for the enormous progress of chemistry, which has recently set out to build and study the tiniest machines at the molecular level. The molecular switches, motors, and machines resulting from these efforts have already reached a respectable level of sophistication and their operational principles and basic modalities are reasonably well understood. The question is how the molecular-scale machinery can be developed further, produced on scale, and put to work to have an impact as transformative as their macroscopic counterparts.
In this Gordon Conference, we will explore how artificial molecular switches, motors, and machines can be optimized and integrated to perform useful functions on the nanoscopic, microscopic and macroscopic level.
The following themes and questions will be addressed:
· How can molecular machines be powered and how can they be controlled most effectively? Which stimuli should be used and which motors and switches are best suited for this?
· How can molecular machines be procured reliably and on scale? How can we take advantage of self-assembly to build more sophisticated structures out of simple molecular building blocks?
· How can we organize molecular machines within solid frameworks, polymeric and self-assembled systems and on interfaces? How can we achieve collective and cooperative movement of machines?
· How can we effectively produce output from the work performed by molecular machines? How can we harvest, store and process energy and information? How can we use molecular machinery to manufacture molecules? What are ways to translate the molecular motion into macroscopic motion?
· How can molecular switches, motors, and machines be repaired?
· What are the anticipated limitations for mass production of molecular machines?
· What lessons that can be drawn from the complex molecular machines that Nature has evolved over eons? Conversely, can artificial switches and motors be merged with Nature's molecular machines to endow them with new functions and control elements?
· How can the increasingly successful miniaturization of machines and robots that stem from engineering efforts influence the further development of molecular machines? At which level can macroscopic and molecular machines interface with each other?
· What are the most promising applications on the horizon and in what way are molecular switches and motors already applied today?
· Which pathophysiological processes and diseases can be targeted with molecular switches and machines? What are the current limitations for using them in biology and medicine?
We hope that we can answer some of these questions at the 2021 Gordon Research Conference in Artificial Molecular Switches and Machines with its diverse set of speakers and participants, whose interests range from machine learning and quantum chemistry to DNA nanotechnology and robotics, with a hefty dose of synthetic chemistry in between.