The title question does not offer answers from financial analysts or political decision makers, but is rather centered around the key role of chemistry as basis of life and of technology. This talk will take you on a walking tour along carbon nanostructures, from carbon black to synthetic macromolecules and graphenes. The latter have been hailed as wonder materials and, indeed, possess fascinating properties which form the basis of energy technologies (batteries, fuel cells) and electronics (semiconductors for integrated circuits). Even a future quantum computing will sensitively depend upon materials, but this is also true for biomedicine as will be shown for gene therapy and theranostics. Take-home message: with the right materials, black or not, the future will be bright.
Prof. Dr. Klaus Müllen, Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research
Klaus Müllen was director at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research and is continuing research at the universities of Heidelberg and Cologne. His broad research interests range from new polymer-forming reactions, to the chemistry and physics of single molecules as well as graphenes, dendrimers and biosynthetic hybrids. He published about 2000 papers. He received many awards, honorary doctorates and honorary professorships and he is member of national and international academies.
From 2008-2009 he served as president of the German Chemical Society (GDCh). In 2013-2014 he was president of the German Association for the Advancement of Science and Medicine. In 2010 he won an ERC Advanced Grant for his work on nanographenes. He was associate editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.