Some of the most significant projects I have worked on in Professor J. Fraser Stoddart’s Group at Northwestern University are highlighted below.
Halogen Bonding. This project is the product of the hard work of Michael Hong, who is an undergraduate that I am mentoring. We synthesized halogenated pyromellitic diimides and demonstrated that they form two-point halogen-oxygen bonding interactions in the solid state (Chem. Sci. 2014, Accepted).
Organic Ferroelectrics. In collaboration with Ashwin Narayanan in Professor Sam I. Stupp’s Group at Northwestern University, I have helped to develop the lock-arm supramolecular ordering (LASO) paradigm, which is a general molecular design strategy for amplifying the crystallization of charge transfer complexes that revolves around the synergistic action of hydrogen bonding and charge transfer interactions. Some of the robust single crystalline materials display ferroelectric hysteresis at room temperature (Nature 2012, 488, 485) and ongoing structural modifications to the component molecules continue to yield LASO crystals with significantly improved materials properties.
Metal-Organic Frameworks. I worked on integrating mechanically interlocked molecules into metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) with the aim of creating robust arrays of molecular switches. Along the way, it has become apparent that the π-electron rich and π-electron faces of the catenane struts alter the self-assembly process of the final crystalline product. These noncovalent bonding interactions can be exploited to generate syndiotactic layers of 2D MOFs (Chem. Eur. J. 2013, 19, 8457) and assemble a two-component MOF with a magic number ratio of components that is independent of the molar proportions present in the crystallization medium (Under Revision).