Subgroup 1 Multivalent Supramolecular Self-Assembly

2022/1/20 18:19:17





The past few decades have seen a significant growth in the field of supramolecular chemistry. Due to its highly directional and predictable feature, coordination-driven self-assembly has evolved into a well-established methodology for constructing 2D and 3D supramolecules. Up to date, this field has matured in the context of a large variety of macrocycles and polyhedra, which however, still suffered from a lack of complexity and thus were unable to reach the high level of functionality found in biological systems. With the goal of assembling structures with comparable complexity as biomacromolecules and desired function, we push the limits of coordination-driven self-assembly through the following three aspects.

(1) Design and synthesize multitopic building blocks to construct giant 2D and 3D supramolecular architectures via multivalent coordination-driven self-assembly. Such constructs with precise-controlled shapes and sizes are able to hierarchically assemble into ordered nanostructures with specific properties. During our study of supramolecular chemistry, we believe that an understanding of the genesis, attributes, and principles of mathematic geometry can provide a foundation for comprehending the structure design of supramolecular chemistry as well as the hierarchical self-assembly.

(2) The characterization of metallo-supramolecules is a longstanding challenge on account of their dynamic nature. We developed multidimensional mass spectrometry along with scanning tunneling spectroscopy for full characterization of metallo-supramolecules. Instead of commercial instrument, we are also interested in developing a 2-in-1 instrument, viz. pMS-STM, by bridging preparative mass spectrometer and ultra-high vacuum scanning tunneling spectroscopy together through ions soft-landing for direct visualization of large assemblies.

(3) Beyond self-assembly, we aim to advance the design and development of new synthetic materials with molecular level precision. We are exploring the applications of these assemblies in diverse fields, such as host-guest chemistry, molecular recognition, reactivity modulation, catalysis, template-directed synthesis and biomedicine.

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