News archive

Welcome to Cameron and Zoe who join the group! Cameron is a visiting MChem student from the University of Edinburgh and will be working on cages; Zoe is an undergraduate researcher who will be working on hydrogen bonded frameworks incorporating main group elements.

The group publishes two papers in Chemistry – A European journal in rapid succession. Former postdoc Steph shows that hydrogen bonded frameworks can undergo drastic single-crystal-to-single-crystal transitions and adsorb water vapour. Former PhD student Chriso shows that a porous organic cage can be used to form a Co24 organometallic cluster in a single step.

Congratulations to Rosie, who publishes a paper in Chemistry – A European Journal demonstrating that O-H hydrogen bond donors can be used to dramatically enhance anion binding selectivity in [2]rotaxane hosts.

Congrats to Dr Chriso, who become the first PhD student from the group to graduate!

The group welcomes two Honours students for the 2022 academic year. Oscar will be looking at using guest binding macrocycles to control organocatalysis, while Bailee will be looking at the coordination chemistry of some new cages in collaboration with Dr Annie Colebatch’s group.

Lockdown in Canberra ends, so it’s back to the lab. Petch’s paper describing the use of modulators to control crystallisation of hydrogen bonded frameworks is published in Chemical Communications. Congratulations on getting a first author paper in the first year of your PhD, Petch!

We’ve spent the last two months in lockdown with almost no lab access, but it hasn’t all been bad news: Nick’s feature article describing our work so far on amidinium carboxylate frameworks is published in the Emerging Investigator issue of Chemical Communications.

Former summer student Duncan’s paper showing amidinium groups are prone to hydrolysis in aqueous base is accepted in the Journal of Organic Chemistry – thanks to the Coote group who were able to determine the mechanistic details using clever computational techniques.

Nick is awarded a Future Fellowship by the Australian Research Council. This will provide $975,000 to support the group for four years (2022–2025).

Welcome Bailee and Oscar, who join the group for undergraduate research projects.

Welcome to Dr Jordan Smith, who joins our group as a postdoc to work on supramolecular control of organocatalysis (funded by our Discovery Project with Megan O’Mara and Luke Connal).

Rosie’s first first-author paper looking at anion recognition using a single very strong hydrogen bond is published in an Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry special issue on the Supramolecular Chemistry of Anions. This was work originally started by Alfred Fung right back when the group started at the end of 2015. Thanks to Michelle Coote’s team for pKa measurements and calculations.

Welcome to Petch, who has moved from Newcastle to start a PhD in the group!

Welcome to Jason, who joins the group for an undergraduate research project. He tried to do an undergraduate project last year but was thwarted mid-project by COVID19. Here’s hoping for better luck this time!

Emer’s lockdown review of supramolecules assembled using hydrogen bonding or halogen bonding interactions between triazole/triazolium/halotriazole/halotriazolium groups and anions is published in Chemistry – An Asian Journal.

In collaboration with Jona Foster (University of Sheffield, UK) we showed that we can make freestanding atomically-thin nanosheets of our hydrogen bonded frameworks. Remarkably, these nanosheets can withstand boiling water, and show promise for sensing applications. Out now in Chemical Science!!

Steph’s paper comparing silicon and carbon-centered hydrogen bonded frameworks is published in Chemistry – A European Journal. We thought silicon building blocks would be more flexible than ones based on carbon – turns out we were wrong!

We’re hiring! We have a 12-month postdoc position available on supramolecular catalysis funded by our joint Discovery Project grant with Luke Connal and Megan O’Mara. Unfortunately, this is only available to people with Australian/New Zealand work rights due to COVID-related border restrictions. Applications close 13th November.

Welcome to Gemma, who joins the group for an undergraduate research project. Relaxation of social distancing rules means she can get in the lab (fingers crossed nothing changes!).

Welcome to Henry, who joins the group for an undergraduate research project. Sadly, physical distancing restrictions mean he can’t get in the lab, so he’ll be looking at the CSD instead.

Nick was invited to contribute an article to a special “Emerging Investigators” issue of Chemical Society Reviews. The result, a joint review with Wei Zhao and Amar Flood (University of Indiana) was just accepted. Sadly we wrote nearly all of it before lockdown…

Sadly, COVID-19 causes the lab (and all of ANU) to be shut down for at least the next three months, starting on the 25th March. In happier news, Emer’s paper looking at crystal engineering using halogen bonding tripods and halide anions is published in CrystEngComm!

Welcome to Jason, who joins the group as an undergraduate research student.

Our collaborative JACS paper that showed H-bonded frameworks could encapsulate and stabilise enzymes is highlighted in Nature Chemistry.

Nick and colleagues Luke Connal and Megan O’Mara are awarded an ARC Discovery grant ($420,000 over three years, 2020–2022) to investigate biomimetic organocatalysis and supramolecular catalysis. Woo hoo!

Some of the work undergraduate student Duncan did during his summer project is published in Chemical Communications with him as first author. Congrats Duncan!

A collaborative with Chris Sumby, Christian Doonan and Paolo Falcaro showing that our H-bonded frameworks can be used to encapsulate and stablilise enzymes is published in JACS.

Welcome to Gareth and Indy, who join the group for undergraduate research projects!

It’s been a busy month or so with 4 papers published: Steph has a paper showing a general route to family of hydrogen-bonded frameworks published as a “hot” paper in Chemistry — A European Journal, as well as a paper on pentiptycene frameworks (with Pei-Xi Wang and Mark MacLachlan) published in Crystal Growth & Design. Former Honours student Tom has a paper showing that hydrogen bond donors can be used to control the crystallisation (co-crystals and polymorphism) of covalent organic cages published in Crystal Growth & Design. Nick publishes an analysis of solid-state structures containing antielectrostatically hydrogen bonded dimers in CrystEngComm.

A collaboration with Chiara Neto’s group at the University of Sydney using the Blue Box macrocycle on silica surfaces to remove contaminants from water is published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A.

Last year, we had to get out of the lab for a week so some work could be done on the fumehoods. We rented a house on the coast and wrote a review, which has now been published in Chemical Society Reviews. It was a real team effort, so many congrats/thanks to Chriso, Emer and Steph!

Mahbod, Steph and Pickle’s paper on hydroxy-containing anion receptors is selected as a “Very Important Paper” and published in a special issue of Chemistry — An Asian Journal celebrating New Zealand chemistry. This was originally supposed to be an “easy” undergraduate project that got a bit out of hand!

Nick publishes a “Frontier” (aka mini-review) on self-assembled amidinium and guanidinium frameworks in Dalton Transactions as an invited contribution to the “New Talent: Asia Pacific” special issue.

Sadly, funding for Dr Steph runs out so she leaves the group, and is moving down the corridor to be the lieutenant for our new head of school (Prof. Penny Brothers). Her scientific contributions and “unique” laugh will be sadly missed. Undergraduate student Duncan joins the group for a summer project.

Riley and Zeke leave (although Zeke has promised to come back for Honours next year). Hui Min and Sara start summer projects.

The group gets a bit less female-heavy, as Riley and Zeke join for undergraduate research projects. Welcome!

Welcome Emer, who starts a PhD in the group today!

Nick’s paper reporting an undergrad lab experiment to prepare Hannon-style Fe2L3 helicates is published in the Journal of Chemical Education. Thanks to Jon Beves for the idea.

Mahbod’s paper on very very porous (but unstable) hydrogen-bonded frameworks is published in Dalton Transactions.

Congrats to Rosie, who graduates with a BSc(Hons).

Toby and Rosie finish their projects and leave us, but the group gets two summer students. Welcome Eric and Sam!

Mahbod’s Chem. Sci. paper is chosen to be part of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s collection of 100 papers celebrating 100 years of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute. Tom’s Chem. Asian J. paper is highlighted by Chemistry Views.

Tom Horgan joins us on a six-month exchange from the University of Southampton, and Toby Genet starts an undergraduate research project.

The group graduates its first student — congrats Tom, BSc(Hons).

Steph Boer joins us as a postdoc from Dave Turner’s group at Monash — welcome!!

The group has its first PhD student. Welcome Chriso!!

A collaboration with the O’Mara group on trying to understand self–assembly between bis(amidiniums) and dicarboxylates using a range of techniques is published as a “Very Important Paper” in a special edition of Chemistry — An Asian Journal. Congrats to all involved!

We’re advertising! The group has funding for a fixed-term (15 month) postdoc position – if you’re interested, apply here:

Mahbod’s paper on anion-templated frameworks is published in Chemical Science. Congrats Mahbod!

Rosie starts honours in the group, welcome!

Kaycee Low joins the group from Monash University for a summer research project.

Nick is awarded a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award by the Australian Research Council. This provides $360,000 funding over three years (2017 — 2019).

Supramolecular chemistry wins its second Nobel Prize! Congratulations to Ben Feringa, Jean-Pierre Sauvage and Fraser Stoddart.

Nick talks at the excellent MICRA meeting at the University of Bath (Meeting of Inorganic Chemists Recently Appointed).

Nick gives a department seminar at UNSW, and talks at the 2016 NZIC meeting in Queenstown.

We made a (very short) movie! Mahbod filmed himself growing crystals of a framework material – this is about 100 mgs of compound forming in water in minutes (we sped things up for the video!).

It’s all change in the group again, as Arthur returns to France and Rosie and Alfred return to their undergraduate studies. Tom begins his BSc(Hons) project in the group and we welcome PhB student Michael and visiting Scottish student Craig for undergraduate projects.

Nick begins teaching – he will be lecturing on coordination chemistry at second-year level for the next month.

The group publishes its first paper! Mahbod’s work on 2D structures assembled by O-H…anion hydrogen bonding is published as an invited contribution to a “New Talent” themed issue of CrystEngComm.

New group photos (including all the new people) are now on the website!

It’s all change in the group: Kathy leaves to return to her  studies, but Tom and Rosie join for research projects, and Arthur David – a visiting Masters student from France arrives.

Dr Mahbod Morshedi will be joining the group as a postdoctoral research fellow in the new year. He will be working part-time with us, and also working within the school on teaching and safety.

Alfred and Kathy join the group for summer research projects. Welcome!

Nick has been highlighted as an “Inspiring Alumnus” in Interface, the magazine of the MacDiarmid Institute (a New Zealand-wide network for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials).

Work from Nick’s postdoctoral position (with Prof. Mark MacLachlan) on preparing anion-templated hexagonal nanotubes is published in Chemical Science.

Nick is appointed as a lecturer at ANU!! He begins work in October 2015.