RSC School Seminar - Dr. Jamie Lewis (Imperial College London)

Title: Metal-Organic Self-Assembly with Unsymmetrical Ligands

Speaker: Dr. Jamie Lewis

Metal-organic self-assembly has been a burgeoning area of research over the last three decades. Through careful ligand design and choice of metal ion, porous metal-organic cages of myriad size and geometry have been produced. Building on this fundamental research, the cavities of these systems have been utilised to bind guest molecules with applications in catalysis, sensing, drug delivery and reactivity modulation to name a few. A commonality amongst metal-organic cages is their tendency to employ highly symmetrical and unfunctionalised ligands to simplify the self-assembly process, resulting in spheroidal cavities. Anisotropy, however, could be used to construct more sophisticated assemblies with higher specificity and affinity of guest-binding, and allow multiple endohedral functionalities to be arrayed in a strategic manner. In this seminar I will discuss our preliminary work towards this goal using unsymmetrical ligands with the common Pd2L4 cage topology. Ligand design principles will be discussed, including recent efforts to use computational prediction of self-assembly outcomes.