Pi-Saddles Made to Order.
We must not forget that when radium was discovered no one knew that it would prove useful in hospitals. The work was one of pure science. And this is a proof that scientific work must not be considered from the point of view of the direct usefulness of it. It must be done for itself, for the beauty of science, and then there is always the chance that a scientific discovery may become like the radium a benefit for humanity. – Marie Skłodowska Curie (1921), Lecture at Vassa
Our research interest revolves around carbon-rich, curved macrocycles that can be modified in their integral diameter, the extent of the π-surface, the content of metals other than carbon and their flexibility. We exploit innovative, strategic placements of defects to cause the structures to persistently adopt non-planar curvatures, which enables the formation of clearly defined supramolecular polymers. The main objectives of our group are to (1) develop synthetic methods to make those atomically precise, monodisperse, and bench-top stable curvatures and (2) to characterize and experimentally establish their aggregation in solution and in the solid state. We aim to gain a fundamental understanding of carbon-based non-planar morphologies, their dynamic behavior and the rules that govern supramolecular order.