Flipping the switch: synthesis and advanced mass spectrometric characterisation of interlocked supramolecular complexes

Given their unique topology, mechanically interlocked architectures such as catenanes and rotaxanes have become attractive synthetic targets for the basis of molecular switches and stimuli responsive materials.

In this project, mass spectrometry is used to probe the redox properties and chemical reactivity of topologically unique supramolecular complexes. This ground-breaking work is the first example of the gas-phase electrochemical reduction and subsequent characterisation of radical-containing interlocked architectures.

Understanding the role each macrocycle plays in stabilising charge-reduced species will enable greater control over the dynamics of supramolecular complexes.  Coupling this work with diffusion ordered spectroscopy will provide unique insights into how radical interlocked species interact, how we can manipulate the shape of elaborate supramolecular architectures and ultimately control molecular motion.


Soft matter

Materials characterisation

Postdoctoral research fellow