Examining van der Waals Dispersion Forces between Polarisable Functional Groups

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: Sch of Chemistry


The project seeks to understand aromatic stacking interactions that involve molecular contacts between large polarisable groups, and to incorporate their use into molecular machines. The project will use a combination of synthetic chemistry, and a physical organic chemistry approach that compares experimental and computed data to understand the strength of aromatic interactions and their ability to catalyse reactions. The understanding gained will be put into use by covalently modifying transmembrane protein pores with molecular-balance receptors capable of binding substrates and catalysing reactions via stacking interactions as they are translocated across the membrane. The key techniques employed will be organic synthesis, NMR spectroscopy, DFT and energy partitioning methods, bioconjugation reactions.


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Zheng Q (2019) The Energetic Significance of Metallophilic Interactions. in Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English)

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Dominelli-Whiteley N (2017) Strong Short-Range Cooperativity in Hydrogen-Bond Chains in Angewandte Chemie International Edition

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509644/1 30/09/2016 29/09/2021
1796296 Studentship EP/N509644/1 31/08/2016 30/08/2020 Alexander Elmi