Founded in 2002, the FQRNT Centre for Self-Assembled Chemical Structures brings together scientists who study the self-assembly of molecules and exploit this method of structure formation to create new materials and new phenomena.

The overall goal of the Centre is to promote innovative research in a non-traditional field of chemistry that of the complex structures formed by self-assembly. CSACS seeks to achieve this goal by

  1. Bringing together scientists who are working in the area of chemical self-assembly
  2. Promoting collaborations for projects which could not be realized by one single research group
  3. Providing students with the multidisciplinary training
  4. Facilitating access to equipment and research areas.

Creation of a new centre in a non-traditional field of research, CSACS was basically built from scratch, relying on strong but not officially recognized collaborations which naturally developed due to the nature of self-assembly research.

“Chemical self-assembly is now a unique niche strongly associated with Quebec research.”

The creation of CSACS involved organizing a governance, hiring professional associates, developing instrumental and human infrastructures, identifying lab space and supporting new collaborations. Within less than 2 years, the center has become almost fully functional, has already produced findings that have an impact in the theme of self-assembly, has fostered collaborations, has provided a unique training environment for students, and, despite its very young age, has already started to build an international reputation. We now anticipate that the new collaborations and access to equipment will have a large positive impact on our scientific productivity.

A major consequence of CSACS is that chemical self-assembly is now a unique niche strongly associated with Quebec research. In order to become the reference in the area of chemical self-assembly, we have recruited junior and senior researchers into new areas of self-assembly (supramolecular, theoretical), extending the center to two additional universities (Concordia, UQAM). The presence of CSACS and the related infrastructure will play a central role in attracting researchers in Quebec in the rising field of chemical self-assembly and in retaining the high profile researchers already here by providing the critical scientific mass in the area and the required instrumental infrastructure to perform competitive research at the international level.