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Scientific Approach

RAMSES addresses a fundamental discrepancy between naturally derived structures with nanoscale cavities and most artificial self-assembled nano-confinements: while the biological structures, e.g. enzymes, are usually low symmetric (as are their substrates) and densely equipped with multiple functionalities, man-made mimics are of rather high symmetry and low diversity regarding the number of functions implemented into one structural motif. The reason is the following: nature employs a multi-step strategy starting with the synthesis of a covalently joined block polymer containing about 20 different functional units in a predetermined (genetically encoded) sequence. This polypeptide chain then folds in a non-covalent fashion (often assisted by dynamic-covalent cross-linking steps) into a single type of 3-dimensional object, containing internal pockets and surface features that are lined with functionalities, acting together to bestow the folded protein with its intended function. Self-assembly in the laboratory, however, lives from simplifying the employed components, usually giving them symmetric shapes and directed connectivities to produce highly symmetric objects such as squares, cubes, tetrahedra, octahedra or Archimedean spheres following fundamental geometric principles

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While the spontaneous emergence of the latter structures is of unquestionable elegance, it brings the problem, that the resulting structures are structurally far from the complexity of biological compounds.

Our mission is to develop new strategies for the self-assembly of functionalized, artificial building blocks that allow for a rational (non-statistical) integration of two or more components into a single architecture. The challenge is to design systems and assembly principles where, for example, components A, B, C and D only assemble into product ABCD, without falling into narcissistic self-sorting (A only with A, B only with B…) or a complete statistical mess (here: 55 possible “lantern-shaped”, four-component systems, from AAAA over BCCD to ABCD). Therefore, while interconnectivity between the components has to be secured, entropy – a formidable enemy favoring the formation of convoluted mixtures – has to be overcome by carefully installed enthalpic drivers and steric or topological constraints. After reliable and robust strategies towards such low-symmteric, multi-component structures have been devised, these will be used to facilitate the implementation of multiple functionalities and study their interplay in the context of photo-redox processes, materials properties and action on internalized substrates.

Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund University is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dort­mund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.

TU Dort­mund University has its own train station ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station ("Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 20 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop "Dort­mund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dort­mund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S".

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.

The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dortmund Airport (DTM) to Dortmund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dortmund Central Station, you can continue to the university campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of international flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the university station.

The facilities of TU Dortmund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the university are located in the adjacent "Technologiepark".

Site Map of TU Dortmund University (Second Page in English).