Dream Chemistry Lecture series

Dream Chemistry Lecture series
08 04

PD2PI fellows are invited to IPC PAS Seminar within Dream Chemistry Lecture series delivered by:

Dr. Yunyan Qiu,

Stoddart Mechanostereochemistry Group,

Northwestern University

“Exploring Control in Polymer Synthesis Using Artificial Molecular Machines”


Thursday, the 8th April, 3 pm, via Zoom

link to join zoom seminar:


Meeting ID: 912 6785 0280

Passcode: 515744 


The rise and promise of artificial molecular machines allow chemists to explore control and functions in a nanoscale world. Motor molecules in nature convert energy inputs, such as a chemical fuel or photons of light, into directional motion and drive biochemical systems away from thermal equilibrium. The ability to control directional movements of components in molecules under certain stimuli represents significant advances toward future technological applications. In the first part of this presentation, following an introduction of the nature of the mechanical bond, I will briefly talk about how to use artificial molecular pumps to control the unidirectional motions of molecules through redox and light stimuli.

In the second part of this presentation, recent advances on the design and synthesis of enthalpically and entropically demanding polyrotaxanes bearing densely charged units by courtesy of radical chemistry will be discussed. We aim to develop the chemically and electrochemically redox-driven polyrotaxane synthesizer in order to control the exact number of rings installed onto a polymeric chain. We have designed and synthesized polymers with two molecular pumps attached at both ends of a polymeric chain, which acts as a collecting chain for multiple cationic rings. We have demonstrated that polyrotaxanes with a controlled number of rings can be produced through repetitive redox cycles using chemical reagents or a supply of electricity without generating and accumulating waste products. These advances represent little more than the tip of the iceberg in terms of harnessing artificial molecular machines to produce functional materials.