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Physical Organic and Assembly

The study of mechanism, structure-reactivity, dynamics, binding, self-assembly and non-covalent interactions with a focus on a quantitative, molecular level understanding of properties.

The Physical Organic & Assembly research grouping investigates extremely wide ranging topics, stretching from the development of new methods for catalysing reactions, using organic and biological reaction mechanisms, developing better understanding of organic reactions, to the development of sensors, gels and imaging and resonance probes, and the directed assembly of functional multicomponent systems.

Underpinning this breadth of applications, the grouping offers expertise in a range of multidisciplinary scientific skills, including, supramolecular chemistry, physical organic chemistry, reaction mechanism and structural optimisation, new chiral complexes, carboranes, new synthetic chemistry, synthesis, characterisation, electrochemistry, kinetics, fluorination and bioconjugation, and state of the art analytical techniques such as spectroscopy (NMR, IR, UV-vis, MS, Raman, circularly polarised luminescence (CPL)), DFT Modeling, LC, microscopy and X-ray diffraction, Applied Photophysics, kinetic methods, specialist equipment for work using gases under high pressure and elemental fluorine, crystallography and charge density analysis. Combining these skills enables the research grouping to build up a detailed, quantitative understanding of the fundamental physical, chemical and biological properties of organic molecules.

The grouping has international collaborations with academic and industrial research groups and close links with the optoelectronics, pharmaceutical, medical diagnostics and chemical process sectors.

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.

ESOR 2017 was hosted in Durham 3-8 September 2017