The partnership with ShanghaiTech University was initiated in 2018 in order to create the Multivariate Chemistry Laboratory (MTV-Chem). The intention of MTV-Chem is to engage emerging Chinese and international scholars with different backgrounds (e.g. fundamental inorganic chemistry, organic synthesis, materials development, computational chemistry, among others), together in one space, in order to design and create materials previously unseen to the world.
The research focus at MTV-Chem lies in making materials from an increasing number of unique building units - the principles for achieving this transformative chemistry have yet to be uncovered. The new materials space that is expected to emerge from this approach will have unlimited possibilities especially when the building units are arranged in specific sequences within crystals. One can imagine materials with sequences that code for a specific function (similar to RNA and DNA). This research arena has not been contemplated or attempted by any institution or researcher - it truly is a new frontier for chemistry and materials science.