Rienk Eelkema Research Lab

Current areas of interest:

Our research is concerned with the design, synthesis, characterization and application of new molecular materials. We have a special focus on using chemical reactivity to control the self assembly of dynamic materials, to make materials that can respond to changes in their environment by moving, or changing color, shape or rigidity, or materials that exist outside of chemical equilibrium.

We are part of the Advanced Soft Matter group at Delft University of Technology
and the Delft Process Technology Institute.

Dynamic covalent materials
Out of equilibrium self assembly
Catalytic control over self assembly processes
Materials for optoelectronic applications
● Organic & polymer synthesis
● Aqueous phase chemistry & assembly

VACANCIES! I'm looking for postdocs, especially with expertise in organic&polymer synthesis, and for one position the synthesis of chromophores and fluorophores. If interested, send your CV, list of references and letter of motivation to me by e-mail.If you have no signifiant synthetic experience it is no use applying.


April 2017 Rienk is promoted to Associate Professor.

April 2017 Simge Tarkuc's work on small-molecule charge transfer compunds is now online in Tetrahedron, as part of a special issue in honor of Ben Feringa's Nobel Prize!

March 2017 Matija and Wouter's work on reaction diffusion gel formation will appear soon in Nature Communications!


January 2017 Paper on DNA crosslinking of supramolecular gels published in Advanced Materials! Collaborative work with the Kieltyka group at Leiden University.
W. E. M. Noteborn, D. N. H. Zwagerman, V. Saez Talens, C. Maity, L. van der Mee, J. M. Poolman, S. Mytnyk, J. H. van Esch, A. Kros, R. Eelkema, R. E. Kieltyka; "Crosslinker-induced effects on the gelation pathway of a low molecular weight hydrogel" Adv. Mater. 2017 online.


January 2017 Paper on gel catalysis published in Chemistry a European Journal! Collaborative work with the Escuder group at University Jaume I. Congratulations Chandan & Nishant!
N. Singh, C. Maity, K. Zhang, C. A. Angulo-Pachon, J. H. van Esch, R. Eelkema, B. Escuder; “Synthesis of a double network supramolecular hydrogel by having one network catalyse the formation of the second” Chem. Eur. J. 2017, online

November 2016 Rienk and Antonia Denkova won an STW Open Mind Grant at the STW annual symposium for their Cerenkov Chemotherapy proposal. Video available here.

November 2016 FOM project awarded! A consortium led by Chirlmin Joo (Bionanoscience, TU Delft)will now work on single molecule protein sequencing.

November 2016 Rienk was awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant!

October 2016 In a collaboration with Antonia Denkova (Reactor Institute) and Sander van Kasteren (Leiden University), Rienk was awarded a Delft Health Initiative seed grant to work on "Cerenkov Chemotherapy"

September 2016 Rienk presented work on fuel-driven assembly at the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, for the Functional Molecular Systems Gravitation programme.


June 2016 Paper on liposome-catalyzed gelation published in JACS! Including gelation around HeLa cells, in collaboration with the van Kasteren Lab at Leiden University.
F. Versluis, D. van Elsland, S. Mytnyk, D. L. Perrier, F. Trausel, J. M. Poolman, C. Maity, V. A. A. le Sage, S. I. van Kasteren, J. H. van Esch, R. Eelkema; "Negatively charged lipid membranes catalyze supramolecular hydrogel formation"
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b03853


Motivated PhD and postdoctoral fellows with independent funding

For all applications, send a CV and motivation letter to me.

BSc and MSc positions available! Inquire with me, or at the ASM showcase.

Rienk Eelkema | Associate Professor | r.eelkema at tudelft.nl | +31(0)152781035 (tel.) | room D2.340 | van der Maasweg 9, 2629 HZ Delft, the Netherlands
Advanced Soft Matter Group | Department of Chemical Engineering | Faculty of Applied Sciences | Delft Process Technology Institute | Delft University of Technology