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Durham University


Physical Organic and Assembly

We use the tools of physical organic chemistry to study mechanisms, dynamics, binding, self-assembly and non-covalent interactions with a focus on gaining quantitative, molecular level understanding of properties and structure-reactivity relationships. We apply the understanding that we gain to determine the mechanisms of organic and biological systems, develop new synthetic and catalytic methodologies, and design sensors and materials, such as gels, molecular materials, bioconjugates and diagnostic tools.

We have state of the art analytical facilities and instruments for NMR, IR, UV-vis, MS, Raman, circularly polarised luminescence, circular dichroism, LC, microscopy, X-ray diffraction, stopped-flow, kinetic analyses. We also have specialist equipment for work using gases under high pressure and handling elemental fluorine. Computational methods such as DFT modeling are also widely applied.

Selected Recent Publications

Wright, I.A., Al-Attar, H.A., Batsanov, A.S., Monkman, A.P. & Bryce, M.R. (2018). Conformationally-Restricted Bicarbazoles with Phenylene Bridges Displaying Deep-Blue Emission and High Triplet Energies: Systematic Structure–Property Relationships. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 20(17): 11867-11875.

Che, W., Li, G., Liu, X., Shao, K., Zhu, D., Su, Z. & Bryce, M. R. (2018). Selective sensing of 2,4,6-trinitrophenol (TNP) in aqueous media with “aggregation-induced emission enhancement” (AIEE)-active iridium(III) complexes. Chemical Communications 54(14): 1730-1733.

Holmes, J., Pask, C.M., Fox, M.A. & Willans, C.E. (2016). Tethered N-heterocyclic carbene–carboranes: unique ligands that exhibit unprecedented and versatile coordination modes at rhodium. Chemical Communications 52(38): 6443-6446.

Patel, N. C. D., Oliva-Enrich, J. M. & Fox, M. A. (2017). Geometries of 11-vertex carborane monoanion radicals with 2n+3 skeletal electron counts. European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry 2017(38-39): 4568-4574.

Rozatian, Neshat, Ashworth, Ian W, Sandford, Graham & Hodgson, David R. W. (2018). A Quantitative Reactivity Scale for Electrophilic Fluorinating Reagents. Chemical Science

Linthwaite, V.L., Janus, J.M., Brown, A.P., Wong-Pascua, D., O’Donoghue, A.C., Porter, A., Treumann, A., Hodgson, D.R.W. & Cann, M.J. (2018). The identification of carbon dioxide mediated protein post-translational modifications. Nature Communications 9: 3092.

De Bo, Guillaume, Gall, Malcolm A. Y., Kitching, Matthew O., Kuschel, Sonja, Leigh, David A., Tetlow, Daniel J. & Ward, John W. (2017). Sequence-Specific β-Peptide Synthesis by a Rotaxane-Based Molecular Machine. Journal of the American Chemical Society 139(31): 10875-10879.

Gil-Ramirez, Guzman, Hoekman, Steven, Kitching, Matthew O., Leigh, David A., Vitorica-Yrezabal, Inigo J. & Zhang, Gen (2016). Tying a Molecular Overhand Knot of Single Handedness and Asymmetric Catalysis with the Corresponding Pseudo-D-3-Symmetric Trefoil Knot. Journal of the American Chemical Society 138(40): 13159-13162.

McGonigal, P. R. (2018). Multiply Threaded Rotaxanes. Supramolecular Chemistry30(9): 782-794.

Sturala, Jiri, Etherington, Marc K., Bismillah, Aisha N, Higginbotham, Heather F., Trewby, William J., Aguilar, Juan A., Bromley, Elizabeth H. C., Avestro, Alyssa-Jennifer, Monkman, Andrew P. & McGonigal, Paul R. (2017). Excited-State Aromatic Interactions in the Aggregation-Induced Emission of Molecular Rotors. Journal of the American Chemical Society139(49): 17882-17889.

Shuvaev, Sergey, Suturina, Elizaveta A., Mason, Kevin & Parker, David (2018). Chiral probes for α1-AGP reporting by species-specific induced circularly polarised luminescence. Chemical Science 9(11): 2996-3003.

Parker, David, Shuvaev, Sergey & Fox, Mark A. (2018). Monitoring the ADP/ATP ratio via induced circularly‐polarised europium luminescence. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 57(25): 7488-7492.

Lisse, Etienne & Sandford, Graham (2018). Synthesis of β-fluoro(dicarbonyl)ethylamines from 2-fluoro-ethylacetoacetate and dimethyl-2-fluoromalonate ester by batch and semi-continuous flow three-component Mannich reactions. Journal of Fluorine Chemistry 206: 117-124.

Harsanyi, A., Conte, A., Pichon, L., Rabion, A., Grenier, S. & Sandford, G. (2017). One-step continuous flow synthesis of anti-fungal WHO Essential Medicine Flucytosine using fluorine. Organic Process Research & Development 21(2): 273-276.

Foster, Jonathan A., Damodaran, Krishna K., Maurin, Antoine, Day, Graeme M., Thompson, Hugh P. G., Cameron, Gary J., Bernal, Jenifer Cuesta & Steed, Jonathan W. (2017). Pharmaceutical Polymorph Control in a Drug-Mimetic Supramolecular Gel. Chemical Science 8(1): 78-84.

Jones, Christopher D., Kennedy, Stuart R., Walker, Martin, Yufit, Dmitry S. & Steed, Jonathan W. (2017). Scrolling of supramolecular lamellae in the hierarchical self-assembly of fibrous gels. Chem 3(4): 603-628.

Parker, D., Walter, E. R. H. & Williams, J. A. G. (2018). APTRA-based luminescent lanthanide complexes displaying enhanced selectivity for Mg2+. Chemistry - A European Journal 24(30): 7724-7733.

Parker, D., Williams, J. A. G. & Walter, E. R. H. (2018). Tuning Mg2+ selectivity: comparative analysis of the photophysical properties of four fluorescent probes with an alkynyl-naphthalene fluorophore. Chemistry - A European Journal 24(24): 6432-6441.

Yufit, D.S. & Fox, M.A. (2016). Low-melting molecular complexes: Part VII. 2,3-, 2,5- and 3,4-hexanediones and their molecular complexes with chloroform. Structural Chemistry 27(1): 9-15.

Gluyas, J.B.G., Manici, V., Gückel, S., Vincent, K.B., Yufit, D.S., Howard, J.A.K., Skelton, B.W., Beeby, A., Kaupp, M. & Low, P.J. (2015). Cross-Conjugated Systems Based On An (E)-Hexa-3-en-1,5-diyne-3,4-diyl Skeleton: Spectroscopic and Spectroelectrochemical Investigations. The Journal of Organic Chemistry 80(22): 11501-11512.