Stanford Advisors

All Publications

  • Transformation networks of metal-organic cages controlled by chemical stimuli. Chemical Society reviews Benchimol, E., Nguyen, B. T., Ronson, T. K., Nitschke, J. R. 2022


    The flexibility of biomolecules enables them to adapt and transform as a result of signals received from the external environment, expressing different functions in different contexts. In similar fashion, coordination cages can undergo stimuli-triggered transformations owing to the dynamic nature of the metal-ligand bonds that hold them together. Different types of stimuli can trigger dynamic reconfiguration of these metal-organic assemblies, to switch on or off desired functionalities. Such adaptable systems are of interest for applications in switchable catalysis, selective molecular recognition or as transformable materials. This review highlights recent advances in the transformation of cages using chemical stimuli, providing a catalogue of reported strategies to transform cages and thus allow the creation of new architectures. Firstly we focus on strategies for transformation through the introduction of new cage components, which trigger reconstitution of the initial set of components. Secondly we summarize conversions triggered by external stimuli such as guests, concentration, solvent or pH, highlighting the adaptation processes that coordination cages can undergo. Finally, systems capable of responding to multiple stimuli are described. Such systems constitute composite chemical networks with the potential for more complex behaviour. We aim to offer new perspectives on how to design transformation networks, in order to shed light on signal-driven transformation processes that lead to the preparation of new functional metal-organic architectures.

    View details for DOI 10.1039/d0cs00801j

    View details for PubMedID 35661155

  • Coordination Cages Selectively Transport Molecular Cargoes Across Liquid Membranes JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY Nguyen, B. T., Thoburn, J. D., Grommet, A. B., Howe, D. J., Ronson, T. K., Ryan, H. P., Bolliger, J. L., Nitschke, J. R. 2021; 143 (31): 12175-12180


    Chemical purifications are critical processes across many industries, requiring 10-15% of humanity's global energy budget. Coordination cages are able to catch and release guest molecules based upon their size and shape, providing a new technological basis for achieving chemical separation. Here, we show that aqueous solutions of FeII4L6 and CoII4L4 cages can be used as liquid membranes. Selective transport of complex hydrocarbons across these membranes enabled the separation of target compounds from mixtures under ambient conditions. The kinetics of cage-mediated cargo transport are governed by guest binding affinity. Using sequential transport across two consecutive membranes, target compounds were isolated from a mixture in a size-selective fashion. The selectivities of both cages thus enabled a two-stage separation process to isolate a single compound from a mixture of physicochemically similar molecules.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/jacs.1c04799

    View details for Web of Science ID 000684581100034

    View details for PubMedID 34337947

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8397303

  • Heat Engine Drives Transport of an (Fe4L4)-L-II Cage and Cargo ADVANCED MATERIALS Bao-Nguyen T Nguyen, Grommet, A. B., Tron, A., Georges, M. A., Nitschke, J. R. 2020; 32 (19): e1907241


    The directed motion of species against a chemical potential gradient is a fundamental feature of living systems, underpinning processes that range from transport through cell membranes to neurotransmission. The development of artificial active cargo transport could enable new modes of chemical purification and pumping. Here, a heat engine is described that drives chemical cargo between liquid phases to generate a concentration gradient. The heat engine, composed of a functionalized FeII 4 L4 coordination cage, is grafted with oligoethylene glycol imidazolium chains. These chains undergo a conformational change upon heating, causing the cage and its cargo to reversibly transfer between aqueous and organic phases. Furthermore, sectional heating and cooling allow for the cage to traverse multiple phase boundaries, allowing for longer-distance transport than would be possible using a single pair of phases.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/adma.201907241

    View details for Web of Science ID 000522529400001

    View details for PubMedID 32236986