Gigantic Coordination Networks for Versatile Sensing Applications

Project: Research

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This research pursues porous coordination networks for fluorescent sensing and other uses. It enlists the full force of organic synthesis, and targets gigantic organic molecules as building blocks for networks that border on the nanoscopic domain of protein crystals. Such interdisciplinary effort is meaningful: whereas coordination networks consist of metal ions and organic molecules, and offer to integrate bothinorganicandorganicfunctions, they are often treated as part ofinorganicchemistry, and are built from relatively simple molecules. The field is thus calling for bona fide syntheticorganicchemistry. This project looks to a group of versatile molecules with a branchy shape. The molecules contain a rigid fluorescent core symmetrically equipped with multiple sulfur (or selenium) atoms, each of which is further bonded to a slender organic group as the individual branch. While the sulfur atoms coordinate to metal ions and crystallize the network, the branchy shape leaves out substantial pores to absorb and detect chemical species. With organic synthesis, the central core can be expanded to form larger and more inclusive pores, more sulfur atoms can be installed to enhance the network stability, and electron-deficient cores can be combined with electron-rich branches for non-linear optical effect and for detecting more diverse molecules.


Project number9041212
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/08/0731/05/11