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Report from IUPAC-Sponsored Symposium


Functional p-Electron Systems
5th International Symposium on Functional p-electron Systems, 30 May - 4 June 2002, Ulm, Germany.

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by Günter Wulff

Over 600 people from 29 nations attended the 5th International Symposium on Functional p-Electron Systems (Fp5), which took place in Ulm/Neu-Ulm, Germany, from 30 May to 4 June 2002.

The symposium was organized under the guidance of the chairmen, Professor Peter Baeuerle (University of Ulm) and Professor Klaus Müllen (Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz). It was the fifth consecutive congress in the series, which was founded by one of the honorary presidents, Professor Zen-ichi Yoshida (Kyoto, Japan) in 1989.

The two main objectives were to combine chemistry, physics, biology (in particular) and applications of functional p-electron systems on the one hand, and to strengthen interactions between academia and industrial research laboratories on the other hand.

Professor Alan Heeger

This was realized in two key note lectures by the Nobel Laureates, Professor Alan J. Heeger (University of California, Santa Barbara, USA), who spoke about "Photo-voltaic cells and biosensors using luminescent conjugated polymers" and Professor Jean-Marie Lehn (University of Strasbourg, France), who spoke about "Self-organization of functional architectures from heteroaromatic components." In addition, the plenary lectures by 42 distinguished invited scientists, 63 invited short lectures, and more than 300 poster presentations underlined the importance of functional p-systems in today’s research.

The scientific program of Fp5 covered all highlights and aspects of functional p-electron systems of current interest and provided the absolute state of the art and information on further developments in this highly interdisciplinary field at all levels.

Plenary lectures covered the following topics:

  • Synthesis: F. Diederich (Switzerland), H. Hopf (Germany), A. Hirsch (Germany), R. McCullough (USA), A.-D. Schlüter (Germany), J. Siegel (USA), V. Snieckus (Canada)
  • Structure-property relationships: J.-L. Brédas (USA), A. Osuka (Japan), J. Roncali (France), Y. Shirota (Japan), T. Swager (USA), D. Zhu (China)
  • Nanostructures: T. Aida (Japan), J.M.J. Fréchet (USA), G. Wulff (Germany)
  • Supramolecular organization: H. Anderson (England), B. Feringa (Netherlands), M. Fujita (Japan), E.W. Meijer (Netherlands), R.J.M. Nolte (Netherlands), J.- P. Sauvage (France), F. Stoddart (USA)
  • Organic electronic devices and molecular electronics: Z. Bao (USA), T. Bjornholm (Denmark), R. Friend (England), G. Malliaras (USA), Y. Wada (Japan)
  • Biological systems: C. Braeuchle (Germany), T. Carell (Germany), F. Garnier (France), D. Oesterhelt (Germany), T. Yanagida (Japan), I. Willner (Israel)
  • Probing and imaging: F. DeSchryver (Belgium), T. Jung (Switzerland), J.P. Rabe (Germany), H.-W. Spiess (Germany); and finally
  • Industrial aspects: S. Farid (USA), P. Kirsch (Germany), S. Kirchmeyer (Germany), E. Winkler (Germany).

A special highlight was a special lecture, which included experiments, given by Professor D. Haarer (Germany) on "Goethe’s theory of colors, experiments, and poetry."

On the evening before the official opening of the symposium, a special presentation called "From the nobel prize to high-tech: polymers which conduct and emit" was made to 200 members of the public and press. The event, which took place in the "Stadthaus" of Ulm, featured leading scientists from industry and the two chairmen of Fp5, who presented and demonstrated the application of semiconducting polymers in organic light emitting devices, organic transistors and integrated circuits, organic photovoltaic cells, and molecular electronics. Finally, Nobel Laureate, professor Alan Heeger gave concluding words and offered a promising future outlook for the field.

The symposium definitely was a complete success and the series will be continued in 2004. At the closing ceremony, professor G. Malliarias (Cornell University, USA), one of the coming chairmen, presented details about Fp6, the 6th International Symposium on Functional p-Electron Systems which will be held in Ithaca, New York (USA), in June 2004.

Günter Wulff is a professor at Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf, Germany, and an IUPAC Fellow.



> Published in Chem. Int. 24(6), 2002

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