Molecular Carbons and Their Properties

The discovery and creation of novel carbon nanostructures have always powered unforeseen revolutions in the field of molecular nanotechnology. Synthetic nanocarbons become the materials of choice in modern society because of their structural diversity in addition to their finely tunable chemical and physical properties. The fundamental importance and impact of molecular carbon nanostructures are capturing more and more attention of chemists. The precise atomic-scale synthesis of molecular carbons with uniform and well-defined nanostructures will lay solid foundation for the discovery of advanced functions and applications in the field of nanocarbons. This   project will focus on the precise synthesis of fully conjugated hydrocarbon molecules with unique chemical structures and unprecedented electronic delocalization. We hope these nanocarbon molecules can find wide applications in molecular wire, catalysis, separation, sensing and energy storage.

Molecular Nanotopology

This is a brand-new and independent research field emerging out of the potpourri of chemical topology, mechanical bonds, and mechanically interlocked molecules. With the rapid rise of molecular nanotopology, an era of engineering the topological entanglement, at the molecular level, in the structure of next-generation intelligent materials with robust dynamics will open to researchers. This project will focus on the development of new strategies for the efficient syntheses of adaptive and smart materials based on the unique topologies of organic molecules. We will try to discover how topology can be as useful at the molecular and nanoscale levels as it has been, and continues to be, in our daily lives in the macroscopic world and believe that more fundamental science and potential applications will begin to emerge in the not-too-distant future.

Supramolecular Regulation of Chemical Reactions

Taking advantage of the dynamic, reversible, and adaptive characteristics of noncovalent interactions, supramolecular regulation has become an important and unique tool for controlling or even reversing the pathways of chemical reactions. Though the regulation of reactions by supramolecular strategies is one of the multidisciplinary frontiers of research in contemporary chemistry, there are still critical challenges when it comes to fine-tuning the pathways and selectivity of reactions. This research project proposes to tackle such scientific topics. The precise regulation of inter- and intramolecular transformations with high chemo-, regio-, and stereoselectivity through multiple noncovalent bonding interactions with synergy working in concert will be explored. This target can be realized by utilizing distinct steric-, electronic- and solvation effects of cavities, endowed by a series of well-designed macrocycles. The successful result of this project will facilitate significant advances in molecular conversion and functionalization as well as the development of precision synthesis in chemistry.