The central objective of this team is to understand how chemistry dictates structure, and to comprehend how structural hierarchy from the local to the mesoscopic level affects properties. Some of the activities are deeply rooted in the scientific past of the team, but most have taken shape, or are still being developed, through interaction and synergy. The team combines in-depth expertise on the design and synthesis of selected types of materials, with state-of the art know-how in physicochemical (mostly spectroscopic) techniques for the characterization of materials and processes. In many cases, the team has succeeded to bring its results all the way to industrial implementation through its service facility (Applied Spectroscopy Lab, ASL). Through this scheme, the team can simultaneously invest in frontier fundamental research, far upstream from product development.