Materials synthesis based on use of molecular precursors has been recognized as a powerful way to access compounds with controlled and adjustable compositions, crystal structures, morphologies, and consequently property profiles. Thus, a careful design of suitable molecular precursors as well as extensive knowledge about their (thermal) conversion into desired functional materials are of crucial importance for providing improved rational preparative concepts toward tailor-made multifunctional structures. Molecular synthesis techniques toward functional materials are highly attractive, as they can be performed with highly efficient atom economy, and they allow access to well defined chemical and phase compositions as well as unique morphologies and metastable phases.

This focused session unites materials chemists, ceramists, and materials engineers for developing new concepts and pathways for synthesis, net-shaping, and device integration of functional materials. Whereas the conventional top-down methods are preferred due to their simplicity, and to some extent predictable nature, they operate mostly in thermodynamical regimes and are less suited for synthesizing multi-component and hybrid (organic-inorganic) materials.

Despite well-known benefits of molecular-level processing of inorganic solids, a major challenge lies in the limited insight into molecule-to-material transformations and the fact that many molecular precursors are not commercially available. During this focused session role of precursor chemistry and additives in solution such as sol-gel, solvothermal, electrospinning, microwave, chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and atomic layer deposition (ALD) techniques will be critically analyzed. Specific emphasis will be placed on materials manufacturing strategies such as 3D printing and chemically controlled assembly and purpose-driven modification of materials. Non-conventional synthesis and analytical methods enabling in situ diagnostics and mechanistic insights into nucleation, growth, and self-assembly are in particular focus. The need for new and smart chemical processing methods to obtain specific material compositions that can integrate advancements in materials processing techniques with the existing knowledge-base of materials chemistry will also be a part of this focused session. The industrial potential of chemically processed materials will be analyzed and discussed toward their simplicity, scalability, and cost-effectiveness.

Proposed sessions

  • Precursor chemistry—structural and thermal transformations
  • Chemically processed nanostructures and on-surface nanochemistry
  • Two dimensional materials and their chemical functionalization
  • Solution processing of nanomaterials for optical, catalytic, and sensing applications
  • Molecular precursor approaches for vapor-phase synthesis (ALD, CVD) of materials
  • In situ studies on nucleation and growth of solid-state phases in solution and gas phases
  • Smart chemistry for functionalization of nanostructures
  • Chemical approaches to new processing methods such as 3D printing
  • Scaled-up production of precursor-derived materials
  • Materials integration and device applications


  • Sanjay Mathur, University of Cologne, Germany,
  • Emanuel Ionescu, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany,
  • Samuel Bernard, University of Limoges, France
  • Gurpreet Singh, University of Kansas, USA
  • Ravi Kumar, IIT Madras, India
  • Shashank Mishra, University of Lyon, France
  • Maarit Karppinen, Aalto University, Finland
  • Gunnar Westin, Uppsala University, Sweden
  • Ausrine Bartasyte, University of Franche-Comté, France
  • Graziella Malandrino, University of Catania, Italy
  • Hirokazu Katsui, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan
  • Yoshiyuki Sugahara, Waseda University, Japan
  • Dong-Pyo Kim, Pohang University of Science and Technology, South Korea
  • Ulrich Wiesner, Cornell University, USA