Advances in supramolecular gels Faraday Discussion

30 April - 2 May 2025, Glasgow, United Kingdom

Join us in Glasgow in May 2025 for this edition of the Faraday Discussion series. The Faraday Discussions are unique international discussion meetings that address current and emerging topics at the forefront of the physical sciences.

This meeting is for established and early-career scientists, postgraduate students and industrial researchers working on various aspects of supramolecular gels. It will provide an ideal forum for cross-fertilisation of ideas and understanding between the distinct but adjacent communities working in this exciting field. On behalf of the organising committee, we look forward to welcoming you to Glasgow.


Faraday Discussions have a special format where primary research papers written by the speakers are distributed to all participants before the meeting, and most of the meeting is devoted to discussing the papers. All delegates at the meeting, not just speakers, have the opportunity to make comments, ask questions, or present complementary or contradictory measurements and calculations during the discussion sessions. In addition, there is a dedicated poster session where further discussion takes place. The research papers and a record of the discussion are published in the journal Faraday Discussions.


Our ability to make soft materials based on the fundamental principles of self-assembly has led to a rich and varied global interdisciplinary community, particularly in the area of functional supramolecular gels. These gels are formed by the self-assembly of small molecules into one dimensional structures that entangle to form a network. Their applications are broad; gels have been shown to be of value in the life sciences in 3D cell culture, with a number of recent spin-out companies focused in this area but also have promise as new optoelectronic materials. The inherent interdisciplinarity of the field provides opportunities for chemists, physicists, biologists and engineers to work together, but also raises a number of challenges. Exciting new developments are opening up in transient and dynamic gels, and in the techniques used to study these systems – in particular contrast-matched small-angle scattering, cryo-TEM, and super-resolution microscopy. The four themes of this meeting will bring together different research communities and particular emphasis will be placed upon the transfer of learning between the different themes.
Design of gelling systems
Design of gelling systems is currently mainly a result of trial-and-error iteration around known structures or fortuitous discovery. We will bring together computational and experimentalists to discuss approaches to solving this. This session will explore and contrast effective approaches to gelator design (both experimental and computational), discuss how these approaches can be used to design the material properties of the resulting gels and what data are needed to inform these approaches.
Characterising supramolecular gels
Characterising supramolecular gels requires understanding across multiple length scales with all techniques used having advantages and disadvantages. To move forward, we need to be able to effectively combine multiple techniques. Recent innovations such as the use of superresolution microscopy have real potential but are not yet routinely applied to gels and there are real opportunities using more detailed cryo-TEM experiments. This session will bring together those inside and outside the community to spark ideas and drive new concepts.
Multicomponent systems
Multicomponent systems are a major potential step forward – here, we refer to combining gelling systems or mixing a gelling system with an additive. Both cases add significant complexity in terms of understanding but many opportunities that are not available with single component gels. The key discussion points in this session will be designing multicomponent systems, understanding and characterising all of the possibilities, and developing a language to describe these systems.
Using supramolecular gels
Designing gels for applications is difficult as it requires control of properties over many length scales as well as understanding of processing kinetically trapped materials. This session will also include aspects such as gels that change with time and how these can be used as well as 3D printing of gels. The key discussion points will be understanding how to control properties so that the gels can used for specific applications, with a focus on how to link measured properties to specific applications. Here, we aim to bring together users of gels for applications such as drug delivery, tissue culturing, optoelectronics etc. with those who are more focussed on preparing and characterising materials.
Abstract Submission

Grants for carers

Grants for carers have been introduced following the Royal Society of Chemistry Breaking the barriers report where 78% of chemists working in UK academia felt that managing parenting and/or caring responsibilities has an impact on women’s retention and progression. This fund is not limited to women scientists and welcomes applications from anyone with caring responsibilities. These grants have been supported by The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Chemists’ Community Fund.

You can apply for up to a maximum of £1200/year to assist with additional financial costs that you incur for care usually provided by you whilst you attend a chemistry related meeting, conference or workshop or a professional development event.

Caring responsibilities are wide and varied, and so each application will be individually assessed, examples of applications that we will consider include:
  • paying for extra home help or nursing care for a dependent whilst you will not be present
  • additional medical/respite care for a dependent whilst you will not be present
  • travel expenses for a relative to travel with you to care for dependents whilst you attend a meeting or event
  • paying for extended hours with a care worker/childminder/play scheme to cover time when you will arrive home later than normal.
You are eligible to apply if: 
  • you are a chemist
  • you will incur additional caring expenses whilst attending a chemistry-related meeting, conference, event or workshop or a professional development event
  • you will use these funds to cover the cost of care that you usually provide 
  • you are based in the UK or Ireland or if not, you will normally have held three years RSC membership (past or current).

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Sponsorship & supporting organisations
A selection of sponsorship opportunities is available for companies who would like to promote their activities at the 2025 Faraday Discussion series.
If you would like more information about sponsoring the 2025 Faraday Discussion series, please contact the Commercial Sales Department at the Royal Society of Chemistry on

TBC, Glasgow, United Kingdom

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