Dr Kathleen Mullen

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Role in the Centre

As a chemist, Kathleen Mullen’s research focuses on the development of methodologies for the synthesis of mechanically interlocked architectures in solution and on solid supports. The unique topologies of catenanes and rotaxanes have found application in areas such as sensing, catalysis, drug delivery and even form the basis of molecular machines. In collaboration with Dr David Marshall and Professor John McMurtrie, the Centre has recently funded a project called “Flipping the redox switch: synthesis and advanced mass spectrometric characterisation of interlocked supramolecular complexes”. This project will explore how advanced mass spectrometry techniques can be utilised in the gas-phase synthesis and characterisation of interlocked complexes, including ephemeral radical-containing species that are difficult to isolate and characterise in solution.

Short Biography

Dr Mullen received her PhD in Chemistry from the University of New England, Armidale in 2007. She then moved to the UK, where she worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Oxford (2007-2009) working with Prof. Paul Beer and Prof. Jason Davis. From there, she moved to the University of Edinburgh working with Prof. David Leigh (2009-2011). In 2011, Dr Mullen was awarded an ARC postdoctoral fellowship and moved to QUT to start her independent academic career. She is now a Senior Lecturer, with research interests in the development of new methods for assembling supramolecular architectures in solution and on surfaces.

Selected Publications

“Self‐assembly, adaptive response, and in,out‐stereoisomerism of large orthoformate cryptands”, Low, H.; Mena-Osteritz, E.; Mullen, K. M.; Jager, C.; von Delius, M. ChemPlusChem 2020, in press.

“Porphyrin-Containing Rotaxane Assemblies”, Hewson, S.; Mullen, K. M. Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2019, 21, 2258-2270.

“Understanding coordination equilibria in solution and gel-phase [2]rotaxanes”, Hewson, S.; Mullen, K. Org. Biomol. Chem. 2018, 16, 8569-8578.

“Sensing anions on surfaces: tethering triazolium based anion receptors to polymer resins”, Byrne, S.; Mullen, K. M. RSC Advances 2016, 40, 33880-33887.

“Dynamic covalent synthesis of donor-acceptor interlocked architectures in solution and at the solution:surface interface”, Wilson, H.; Byrne, S.; Mullen, K. M. Chem. Asian. J. 2015, 10, 715-721.