Rienk Eelkema Lab


Research Topics

Catalytic Control over Soft Materials

By changing the rate of covalent bond formation in self-assembled multicomponent materials using catalysis, we create a handle on the rate of material formation. By changing this rate or by localizing the catalyst, material morphology, properties and distribution can be controlled.

Collaborators: Jan van Esch (TU Delft), Roxanne Kieltyka (Leiden University), Sander van Kasteren (Leiden University), Gareth Lloyd (Heriot Watt University), Volkert van Steijn (TU Delft)

Key papers:
F. Trausel, F. Versluis, C. Maity, J. M. Poolman, M. Lovrak, J. H. van Esch, R. Eelkema; "Catalysis of Supramolecular Hydrogelation" Acc. Chem. Res. 201649, 1440.
C. Maity, W. E. Hendriksen, J. H. van Esch, R. Eelkema, “Spatial Structuring of a Supramolecular Hydrogel using a Visible-light Triggered Catalyst” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 998.
J. Boekhoven, J. M. Poolman, C. Maity, F. Li, L. van der Mee, C. B. Minkenberg, E. Mendes, J. H. van Esch, R. Eelkema, “Catalytic control over supramolecular gel formation” Nature Chem. 20135, 433.

Fuel Driven, Out-of-Equilibrium Self Assembly

In an attempt to make active materials, we couple the formation and collapse of out-of-equilibrium self-assembled structures to the consumption of a chemical fuel, allowing the formation of transient assemblies, and control over structure formation in time and space.

Collaborators: Jan van Esch (TU Delft), Ger Koper (TU Delft), Willem Kegel (Utrecht University), Bart van Markvoort (TU Eindhoven)

Key papers:
S. van Rossum, M. Tena Solstona, J. H. van Esch, R. Eelkema, J. Boekhoven; “Dissipative out-of-equilibrium assembly of man-made supramolecular materials” Chem. Soc. Rev. 2017, 46, 5519−5535
B. van Ravensteijn, W. E. Hendriksen, R. Eelkema, J. H. van Esch, W. K. Kegel; “Fuel-mediated transient clustering of colloidal building blocks” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 9763−9766
J. Boekhoven, W.E. Hendriksen, G. J. M. Koper, R. Eelkema & J. H. van Esch; “Transient Assembly of Active Materials Fueled by a Chemical Reaction” Science 2015, 349, 1075-1079.
R. Eelkema, M. M. Pollard, J. Vicario, N. Katsonis, B. Serrano–Ramon, C. W. M. Bastiaansen, D. J. Broer & B. L. Feringa; “Nanomotor rotates microscale objects” Nature 2006, 440, 163

Design and Synthesis of Opto-electronic Materials

We work on the design and chemical synthesis of new (opto)electronic molecular materials and photolabile groups, often for studying quantum interference effects and charge carrier transport, and for applications as probes in biology and biomedicine.

Collaborators: Ferdinand Grozema (TU Delft), Herre van der Zant (TU Delft), Chirlmin Joo (TU Delft), Sander van Kasteren (Leiden University), Cees Dekker (TU Delft), Antonia Denkova (TU Delft)

E. Galan, M. L. Perrin, M. Lutz, H.S.J. van der Zant, F. C. Grozema, R. Eelkema*; "Synthesis of 1,2-biphenylethane based single-molecule diodes" Org. Biomol. Chem., 2016, 14, 2439–2443.
M. L. Perrin, C. J. O. Verzijl, C. A. Martin, A. J. Shaikh, R. Eelkema, J. H.  van Esch, J. M. van Ruitenbeek, J. M. Thijssen, H. S. J. van der Zant & D. Dulić; “Large tunable image-charge effects in single-molecule junctions” Nature Nanotech. 2013, 8, 282-287.
C. A. Rodriguez, S. Tarkuc, R. Frisenda, J. S. Seldenthuis, C. H. M. Woerde, R. Eelkema*, F. C. Grozema & H. S. J. van der Zant, “Quantum interference effects on charge transport through a single benzene ring” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 3152-3155.