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The research program of the HRSMC is embedded in top research groups of the VU University Amsterdam (VU), the University of Amsterdam (UvA), Leiden University (UL) and the Radboud University (RU). It is organized around three different research themes in molecular chemistry which complement and mutually reinforce each other.

HRSMC has a unique track record in supporting top research in these themes and, in particular, to catalyse collaboration between the different approaches to molecular chemistry. The resulting synergy has boosted both interdisciplinary research as well as development within the themes.

Theme 1: Synthesis, Characterisation, Reactivity and Properties of Molecules

This theme deals, among others, with the design, synthesis and characterization of new compounds, the development of new (bio)catalytic reactions, and the investigation of their mechanisms.

Theme 2: Physical Chemistry and Spectroscopy

Theme 2 addresses the issue of experimentally uncovering the fundamental factors behind molecular properties through the interaction between light and molecular matter. Advanced spectroscopic techniques are employed to probe and utilize fundamental processes such as catalytic events, reaction mechanisms and dynamics, and energy and electron transfer.

Theme 3: Theoretical Chemistry

Research within this theme is fully dedicated to understanding the structure of molecules and their chemistry from first principles. HRSMC's theoretical chemistry groups cover method and software development, computational chemistry, and the development of models and guiding principles for rational design of catalysts and sustainable processes. They are working on a broad range of time and length scales (atomic, molecular, supra-molecular, condensed-phase/membrane processes), naturally leading to a multi-scale approach of fundamental and applied theoretical chemistry.

World-leading research groups 

The unique combination of expertises, as developed in world-leading groups, puts HRSMC in an excellent position to endeavour after the molecular approach to sustainability. This generates a highly challenging and exciting research- and educational environment for young and ambitious molecular scientists.