Novel Structures and Functions in Chemical Topology

  • Alberto Valero De La Cruz

Student thesis: Phd


Molecular knots and links can be found in natural biomolecules and synthetic polymers. Like their macroscopic counterparts, molecular knots and links are known to affect the properties of the systems that contain them, in some cases giving rise to interesting functionality as a direct consequence of their complex topology. Although the synthesis of molecular knots and links has experienced significant advances over the last few decades, the in-depth study of the functions of these topologies has been limited to several anecdotal examples. These functions are usually found serendipitously as a result of the arrangement of the functional groups on which the templated synthesis of the topology relies, and therefore allow for little design or tunability. This thesis presents a further exploration of the structure and function in molecular topologies. First, a study of the factors that influence the binding ability of a molecular knot aims to provide the knowledge required to employ it as a tunable system. Alternatively, the design and synthesis of a photoactive iridium-containing circular helicate demonstrates the possibility to design topologies with a specific function in mind. Finally, the synthesis of a novel molecular link employing a metal templation strategy contributes to expand the portfolio of available molecular topologies.
Date of Award1 Aug 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorDavid Leigh (Supervisor) & Michael Greaney (Supervisor)


  • Molecular link
  • Self assembly
  • Assembly
  • Self-assembly
  • Topology
  • Circular helicates
  • Helicate
  • Helicates
  • Circular helicate
  • Photophysics
  • Chemical topology
  • Photochemistry
  • Knots
  • Halide binding
  • Chemistry
  • Organic
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Supramolecular
  • Supramolecular Chemistry
  • Knot
  • Molecular Knot
  • Molecular Knots
  • Binding
  • Halide
  • Iridium

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