Many congratulations to present and former members of our group Komala, Anna, Devis, Jon, Miguel and Salvador for their recent publication, Supramolecular Anion Recognition Mediates One-Pot Synthesis of 3-Amino-[1,2,4]-triazolo Pyridines from Thiosemicarbazides, in Organic Letters!. This work was done through a collaboration of Prof. Gunnlaugsson and Prof. Eoin Scanlan and showed how supramolecular interactions with F– (as tetrabutylammonium fluoride, TBAF) of a series of thiosemicarbazides could lead to the formation of 3-amino-[1,2,4]-triazolo pyridines. The synthesis of these heterocycles was obtained in a one-pot reaction from variously substituted hydrazine pyridine and isothiocyanates in the presence of TBAF.
The Gunnlaugsson Group attended the Supramolecular Chemistry Ireland half-day symposium in NUI Maynooth organised to great effect by Dr. Rob Elmes, who obtained his PhD from under Thorri’s supervision and who is now a Lecturer in Organic Chemistry at the university. The attendees were treated to a tour-de-force of supramolecular chemistry developments from the islands of Ireland and Britain and from as far away as Universidad de Santiago de Compostela whence Dr. Miguel Martínez-Calvo made his return having carried out a post-doctoral fellowship in the Gunnlaugsson Group. Miguel spoke about his work on the “Development of new tools in chemical biology: specific transition metal catalysis in the mitochondria”.
A poster session followed the day’s talks where Dermot Gillen brought home a poster prize for his work entitled “Anion binding of the meta-Phenylene bis(phenylurea) motif“. Congratulations to Dermot and the organisers of the event which was a great success.
Journalist Dick Ahlstrom from the Irish Times highlighted the discovery of versatile lanthanide(III)-containing metallogels in a recent article:
The work involved mixing organic chemicals called ligands that naturally connect with the metals to form structures. He got one of his researchers, Dr Miguel Martínez-Calvo to make a simple new ligand and blended it with the metals.
“We thought we would get some kind of organic framework structure, but when we did the synthesis we got this gel, a new material that we didn’t expect,” says Dr Oxana Kotova, a research fellow in chemistry working with Gunnlaugsson. They described their findings in the current issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
It might have ended up as nothing more than gunk in the bottom of a test tube but the researchers had added two very useful metals in their gel, europium and terbium.
“We use these metals because they can connect to three or more ligands around them and they begin to organise themselves into shapes which would otherwise be impossible to form,” he says.
They self assemble to make a fibrous gel that has lots of useful properties. For example the gel readily “heals” itself after cuts or breaks.
“It is like jelly, you can push it around. We cut it with a scalpel and pulled it apart but then it grew back together and healed itself before our eyes.”
They worked with Trinity colleagues John Boland and Matthias Möbius who studied the gels at the nanotechnology scale of atoms to understand the structure.
Read the full article on the Irish Times website.
An article from the TG Group entitled “The application of chiroptical spectroscopy (circular dichroism) in quantifying binding events in lanthanide directed synthesis of chiral luminescent self-assembly structures” was among the top 25 most downloaded Chemical Science articles from the last quarter of 2014. The article discusses the use of CD and other spectroscopic techniques to probe lanthanide-directed self-assembly behaviour in solution of chiral luminescent systems – a new approach to understanding the behaviour of these systems.
Dr Oxana Kotova, Dr Salvador Blasco, Dr Jon Kitchen and Dr Miguel Martínez-Calvo from the Gunnlaugsson Group worked in collaboration with Dr John O’Brien and Dr Brendan Twamley from Trinity College Dublin and Dr Robert Peacock in Glasgow on this exciting research.