Jump to main content
Jump to site search
PLANNED MAINTENANCE Close the message box

Scheduled maintenance upgrade on Thursday 4th of May 2017 from 8.00am to 9.00am (BST).

During this time our websites will be offline temporarily. If you have any questions please use the feedback button on this page. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause and thank you for your patience.

Systems chemistry

Author affiliations


Building on our ability to design and synthesise molecules and our understanding of the noncovalent interactions between these molecules, the chemical sciences are currently entering the new territory of Systems Chemistry. This young field aims to develop complex molecular systems showing emergent properties; i.e. properties that go beyond the sum of the characteristics of the individual consituents of the system. This review gives an impression of the state of the art of the field by showing a diverse number of recent highlights, including out-of-equilibrium self-assembly, chemically fuelled molecular motion, compartmentalised chemical networks and designed oscillators. Subsequently a number of current challenges related to the design of complex chemical systems are discussed, including those of creating concurrent formation–destruction systems, continuously maintaining chemical systems away from equilibrium, incorporating feedback loops and pushing replication chemistry away from equilibrium. Finally, the prospects for Systems Chemistry are discussed including the tantalizing vision of the de novo synthesis of life and the idea of self-synthesising and self-repairing chemical factories.

Graphical abstract: Systems chemistry

Back to tab navigation
Please wait while Download options loads

Publication details

The article was received on 15 Feb 2017 and first published on 18 Apr 2017

Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C7CS00117G
Citation: Chem. Soc. Rev., 2017, Advance Article
  •   Request permissions

    Systems chemistry

    G. Ashkenasy, T. M. Hermans, S. Otto and A. F. Taylor, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7CS00117G

Search articles by author