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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Paul R. McGonigal

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Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry

Contact Dr Paul R. McGonigal (email at

Research Interests

McGonigal Group

The McGonigal Group develops functional organic materials by exploiting our expertise in stabilized, highly substituted aromatic carbocations. Students in the group are exposed to a wide range of techniques in organic synthesis, advanced spectroscopy, organometallics, electrochemistry, and DFT modeling.

For up-to-date news, visit the McGonigal Group webpage

Research Groups

Department of Chemistry

  • Catalysis and Sustainable Chemical Processes
  • Physical Organic and Assembly

Research Interests

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Supramolecular Chemistry

Selected Publications

  • 1: Astumian, R. D., Pezzato, C., Feng, Y., Qiu, Y., McGonigal, P. R., Cheng, C. & Stoddart, J. F. (2020). Non-equilibrium thermodynamics and kinetics of synthetic molecular pumps. Materials Chemistry Frontiers
  • 2: Bismillah, AN, Chapin, BM, Hussein, BA & McGonigal, PR (2020). Shapeshifting molecules: The story so far and the shape of things to come. Chemical Science 11(2): 324-332.
  • 3: Zhang, Haoke, Zhao, Zheng, McGonigal, Paul R., Ye, Ruquan, Liu, Shunjie, Lam, Jacky W.Y., Kwok, Ryan T.K., Yuan, Wang Zhang, Xie, Jianping, Rogach, Andrey L. & Tang, Ben Zhong (2020). Clusterization-triggered emission: Uncommon luminescence from common materials. Materials Today 32: 275-292.
  • 4: Kukhta, N. A., Higginbotham, H. F., Matulaitis, T., Danos, A., Bismillah, A. N., Haase, N., Etherington, M. K., Yufit, D. S., McGonigal, P. R., Gražulevičius, J. V. & Monkman, A. P. (2019). Revealing Resonance Effects and Intramolecular Dipole Interactions in the Positional Isomers of Benzonitrile-Core Thermally Activated Delayed Fluorescence Materials. Journal of Materials Chemistry C 7(30): 9184-9194.
  • 5: Etherington, Marc K., Kukhta, Nadzeya A., Higginbotham, Heather F., Danos, Andrew, Bismillah, Aisha N., Graves, David R., McGonigal, Paul R., Haase, Nils, Morherr, Antonia, Batsanov, Andrei S., Pflumm, Christof, Bhalla, Vandana, Bryce, Martin R. & Monkman, Andrew P. (2019). Persistent Dimer Emission in Thermally Activated Delayed Fluorescence Materials. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 123(17): 11109-11117.
  • 6: Bismillah, A. N., Sturala, J., Chapin, B. M., Yufit, D. S., Hodgkinson, P. & McGonigal, P. R. (2019). Shape-Selective Crystallisation of Fluxional Carbon Cages. Chemical Science 9(46): 8631-8636.
  • 7: Soe, W.H., Manzano, C., de Mendoza, P., McGonigal, P.R., Echavarren, A.M. & Joachim, C. (2018). Long Starphene Single Molecule NOR Boolean Logic Gate. Surface Science 678: 163-168.
  • 8: McGonigal, P. R. (2018). Multiply Threaded Rotaxanes. Supramolecular Chemistry 30(9): 782-794.
  • 9: 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 Society 139(49): 17882-17889.
  • 10: Danon, J. J., Leigh, D. A., McGonigal, P. R., Ward, J. W. & Wu, J. (2016). Triply Threaded [4]Rotaxanes. Journal of the American Chemical Society 138(38): 12643-12647.
  • 11: Dorel, R. D., McGonigal, P. R. & Echavarren, A. M. (2016). Hydroacenes made easy by gold(I) catalysis. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 55(37): 11120-11123.
  • 12: Cheng, C., Cheng, T., Xiao, H., Krzyaniak, M. D., Wang, Y., McGonigal, P. R., Frasconi, M., Barnes, J. C., Fahrenbach, A. C., Wasielewski, M. R., Goddard III, W. A. & Stoddart, J. F. (2016). Influence of constitution and charge on radical pairing interactions in tris-radical tricationic complexes. Journal of the American Chemical Society 138(26): 8288-8300.
  • 13: Cheng, C., McGonigal, P. R., Stoddart, J. F. & Astumian, R. D. (2015). Design and Synthesis of Nonequilibrium Systems. ACS Nano 9(9): 8672-8688.
  • 14: McGonigal, P.R., Deria, P., Hod, I., Moghadam, P.Z., Avestro, A.-J., Horwitz, N.E., Gibbs-Hall, I.C., Blackburn, A.K., Chen, D., Botros, Y.Y., Wasielewski, M.R., Snurr, R.Q., Hupp, J.T., Farha, O.K. & Stoddart, J.F. (2015). Electrochemically addressable trisradical rotaxanes organized within a metal–organic framework. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112(36): 11161-11168.
  • 15: Hou, Xisen, Ke, Chenfeng, Bruns, Carson J., McGonigal, Paul R., Pettman, Roger B. & Stoddart, J. Fraser (2015). Tunable solid-state fluorescent materials for supramolecular encryption. Nature Communications 6: 6884.

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