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Research

Relevant Disciplines

Organic / Inorganic / Organometallic / Materials / Supramolecular Chemistry / Nanoscience

My research interests are in synthetic organic, inorganic, organometallic and supramolecular chemistry. I am interested in the design and synthesis of new functional materials. I have expertise in a wide range of synthetic and spectroscopic techniques including NMR, IR, UV-vis and X-ray crystallography. Major areas of interest include:

CuAAC “Click” coordination chemistry. The mild and modular Cu(I)-catalyzed 1,3-cycloaddition of terminal alkynes with organic azides (the CuAAC “click” reaction) allows the ready formation of functionalised 1,4-disubstituted-1,2,3-triazole scaffolds and this has led to an explosion of interest in the coordination chemistry of these heterocycles. A diverse array of mono-, bi-, tri- and polydentate ligands incorporating 1,4-disubstituted-1,2,3-triazole units have been synthesised and characterised. Easy access to readily functionalised ligand architectures is of crucial importance in a range of different areas and we are exploiting these ligands for the development of new catalysts, metallo-pharmaceuticals, bio-imaging agents, metallosupramolecular architectures, and molecular machines.

Synthetic molecular machines (nanotechnology). It is well established that the fundamental processes of life at the cellular level are governed by complex biological molecular machines which convert chemical energy into work. My research group is interested in exploiting a range of interlocked and non-interlocked molecular architectures for the development of synthetic molecular machines. These efforts are motivated by the goal of creating synthetic devices or materials that, like their far more complex biological counterparts, could carry out tasks by exploiting controlled molecular-level mechanical motion; a key requirement for the development of useable nanotechnology.

Functional metallosupramolecular architectures. I am also interested in the engineering of functional molecular architectures via self-assembly. In particular we are attempting to exploit these self-assembled cages as novel metallo-pharmaceuticals, for drug delivery and as nanoreactors for carrying out chemical transformations.