Breakthrough in photo-responsive molecular machine by Prof. Tian's group

  Functional molecular machine based on host-guest systems has been a hot area of supramolecular chemistry. Especially the Nobel Prize in chemistry 2016 was award to three world famous scientists who worked on the research of molecular machine. Actually, in the last decade, Prof. He Tian’s group has obtained fruitful achievements in the same area. Recently, the team members, Prof. Xiang Ma, Dr. Qiwei Zhang and Ph.D. student Dengfeng Li, have acquired breakthrough in photo-responsive molecular machine and reported online “Multicolor Photoluminescence Including White-Light Emission by a Single HostGuest Complex” on J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2016, 138, 13541-13550, download link : This research was guided by Prof. Tian, Prof. Ma and collaborated with scientists from Netherlands and Sweden, and our college was the first and only corresponding author affiliation.

  It is very difficult to realize multi-color emission, especially white emission, by a single fluorescent compound or platform. This research created a host-guest molecular machine system based on γ-CD and fluorescent guest molecule including viologen and coumarin which were connected by binaphthol. The fluorescent emission in this molecular machine system was multi-responsive, which showed different fluorescent emission of various emission wavelength and distinct γ-CD host inclusion ratio. Notably, this system can realize white emission under specific emission wavelength. The molecular machine system realizing controllable emission by a single host-guest complex has great potential applications in the field of information storage and luminescence display.

  Recently, as one of the key members of the outstanding young teachers in Prof. Tian’s group, Prof. Xiang Ma has obtained significant progress in photo-responsive (especially with responsive RTP responsive properties) molecular machines and supramolecular polymers. The group firstly reported a pH-controlled rotaxane[2] molecular machine possessing alterable RTP emissions (Chem. Sci. 2016, 7, 4582), created a molecular machine with pH-driven and RTP properties based on CB host (ChemPhysChem, 2016, 17, 1934), reversibly regulated the assembly morphology and configuration of a supramolecular polymer by light of different wavelengths (Adv. Opt. Mater., 2016, 4, 840), built pure-organic polymeric material with efficient RTP properties (Adv. Opt. Mater., 2016, 4, 139) and developed pure-organic host-guest supramolecular polymer and hydrogel material with photo-responsive RTP properties (Polym. Chem., 2016, 7, 3989). Meanwhile, based on the significant influence on molecular machine and supramolecular polymers of our group, Prof. Ma was invited to publish a review article titled “Recent Progress on Photoswitchable Supramolecular Self-assembling Systems” on Adv. Opt. Mater. (2016, 4, 1322), which was selected as the Top 5 download paper in September.

  All the above achievements were financially supported by the financial support from the Programme of Introducing Talents of Discipline to Universities headed by academician Prof. He Tian and several NationalNaturalScienceFoundationofChina won by the same group.

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