Dr Dawei Zhang


Dawei Zhang was born in China, in 1989. He undertook his undergraduate studies in Chemistry at the Northeastern University in China from 2007-2011. Subsequently, he started a co-sponsored PhD program between East China Normal University (ECNU) and École Normale Supérieure de Lyon (ENS-Lyon). He spent the first two years (09/2011-07/2013) at the ECNU in China and then four years (09/2013-06/2017) at the ENS-Lyon in France under the supervision of Prof. Guohua Gao and Prof. Alexandre Martinez, respectively. During his period in France, he also had two research stays at the University of Ottawa and University of Cambridge for a total of six months working with Prof. R. Tom Baker and Prof. Jonathan R. Nitschke, respectively. At the end of May 2017, he defended his PhD in Lyon with a thesis entitled “Hemicryptophanes and Beyond: Synthesis, Recognition, Molecular Machines and Supramolecular Catalysis”, and PhD degrees from both China and France were awarded. He returned to the Nitschke group in July 2017 as a postdoctoral research associate. In October 2017, he took up a Herchel Smith Postdoctoral Research Fellowship supported by Cambridge University.


Publication List

1. D. Zhang, T. K. Ronson, L. Xu, J. R. Nitschke. Transformation network culminating in a heteroleptic Cd6L6L'2 twisted trigonal prism. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2020, doi: 10.1021/jacs.0c03798.


2. L. Xu,‡ D. Zhang,‡ (‡ equal contribution) T. K. Ronson, J. R. Nitschke. Improved acid resistance of a metal-organic cage enables cargo release and exchange between hosts. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, 59, 7435.

3. D. Zhang, T. K. Ronson, R. Lavendomme, J. R. Nitschke. Selective Separation of Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons by Phase Transfer of Coordination Cages. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 18949.


4. D. Zhang, T. K. Ronson, S. Güryel, J. D. Thoburn, D. J. Wales, J. R. Nitschke. Temperature Controls Guest Uptake and Release from Zn4L4 Tetrahedra. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019141, 37, 14534-14538.

5. D. Zhang, T. K. Ronson, J. L. Greenfield, T. Britin, P. Berthault, E. Leonie, J. Zhu, L. Xu, and J. R. Nitschke. Enantiopure [Cs+/Xe⊂Cryptophane]⊂FeII4L4 Hierarchical Superstructures. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 8339-8345.

6. D. ZhangT. K. Ronson, J. R. Nitschke. Functional Capsules via Subcomponent Self-Assembly. Acc. Chem. Res. 2018, 51, 2423-2436.

7. D. ZhangT. K. Ronson, J. Mosquera, A. Martinez, J. R. Nitschke. Selective Anion Extraction and Recovery Using a FeII4L4 Cage. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.2018, 57, 3717-3721.

8. D. Zhang, A. Martinez, J.-P. Dutasta. Emergence of hemicryptophanes: from synthesis to applications for recognition, molecular machines and supramolecular catalysis. Chem. Rev. 2017, 117, 4900-4942.

9. D. Zhang, T. K. Ronson, J. Mosquera, A. Martinez, L. Guy, J. R. Nitschke. Anion binding in water drives structural adaptation in an azaphosphatrane-functionalized FeII4L4 tetrahedron. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 6574-6577.

10. D. Zhang, K. Jamieson, L. Guy, G. Gao, J.-P. Dutasta, A. Martinez. Tailored oxido-vanadium(V) cage complexes for selective sulfoxidation in confined space. Chem. Sci. 2017, 8, 789-794.


11. D. Zhang, J. R. Cochrane, S. Di Pietro, L. Guy, H. Gornitzka, J.-P. Dutasta, A. Martinez. Breathing motion of a modulable molecular cavity. Chem. Eur. J. 2017, 23, 6495-6498.

12. D. Zhang, B. Bousquet, J.-C. Mulatier, D. Pitrat, M. Jean, N. Vanthuyne, L. Guy, J.-P. Dutasta, A. Martinez. Synthesis, resolution and absolute configuration of chiral tris(2-pyridylmethyl)amine-based hemicryptophane molecular cages. J. Org. Chem. 2017, 82, 6082-6088.

13. D. Zhang, J.-P. Dutasta, V. Dufaud, L. Guy, Alexandre Martinez. Sulfoxidation inside a C3-vanadium(V) bowl-shaped catalyst. ACS Catal. 2017, 7, 7340-7345.

14. D. Zhang, J.-C. Mulatier, J. R. Cochrane, L. Guy, G. Gao, J.-P. Dutasta, A. Martinez. Helical, axial and central chirality combined in a single cage: synthesis, absolute configuration and recognition Properties. Chem. Eur. J. 2016, 22, 8038-8042.

15. D. Zhang, D. Jardel, F. Peruch, N. Calin, V. Dufaud, J.-P. Dutasta, A. Martinez, B. Bibal. Azaphosphatranes as hydrogen-bonding organocatalysts for the activation of carbonyl group: investigation of lactide ring-opening polymerization. Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2016, 1619-1624.

16. D. Zhang, G. Gao, L. Guy, V. Robert, J.-P. Dutasta, A. Martinez. A fluorescent heteroditopic hemicryptophane cage for the selective recognition of choline phosphate. Chem. Commun. 2015, 51, 2679-2682.

17. D. Zhang, B. Chatelet, E. Serrano, O. Perraud, J.-P. Dutasta, V. Robert, A. Martinez. Insights into the complexity of interfering weak interactions in host-guest systems. ChemPhysChem 2015, 16, 2931-2935.

18. D. Zhang, H. Yang, A. Martinez, K. Jamieson, J.-P. Dutasta, G. Gao. N-heterocyclic carbene formation induced fluorescent and colorimetric sensing of fluoride using perimidinium derivatives. Chem. Eur. J. 2014, 20, 17161-17167.

19. D. Zhang, J. R. Cochrane, A. Martinez, G. Gao. Recent Advances in H2PO4– fluorescent sensors. RSC Adv. 2014, 4, 29735-29749.

20. D. Zhang, X. Jiang, H. Yang, Z. Su, E. Gao, A. Martinez, G. Gao. Novel benzimidazolium-urea-based macrocyclic fluorescent sensors: synthesis, ratiometric sensing of H2PO4– and improvement of the anion binding performance via synergistic binding strategy. Chem. Commun. 2013, 49, 6149-6151.

21. D. Zhang, X. Jiang, H. Yang, A. Martinez, M. Feng, Z. Dong, G. Gao. Acridine-based macrocyclic fluorescent sensors: self-assembly behavior characterized by crystal structures and tunable bathochromic-shift in emission induced by H2PO4– via adjusting the ring size and rigidity. Org. Biomol. Chem. 2013, 11, 3375-3381.

22. D. Zhang, X. Jiang, Z. Dong, H. Yang, A. Martinez, G. Gao. A bifunctional acridine-based fluorescent sensor: ratiometric sensing of H2PO4– and obvious fluorescence quenching towards HSO4– through a synergistic binding effect of benzimidazolium and urea moieties. Tetrahedron 2013, 69, 10457-10462.

23. D. Zhang, H. Zhang, L. Tian, F. Fang, K. Liu, Z. Wu. Microfabrication-free fused silica nanofluidic interface for on chip electrokinetic stacking of DNA. Microfluid. Nanofluid. 2013, 14, 69-76.

24. D. Zhang, Z. Dong, X. Jiang, M. Feng, W. Li, G. Gao. A proof-of-concept fluorescent strategy for highly selective detection of Cr(VI) based on inner filter effect using a hydrophilic ionic chemosensor. Anal. Methods 2013, 5, 1669-1675.

25. S. Lefevre, D. Zhang, E. Godart, M. Jean, N. Vanthuyne, J.-C. Mulatier, J.-P. Dutasta, L. Guy, A. Martinez. Large-scale synthesis of enantiopure molecular cages: chiroptical and recognition properties. Chem. Eur. J. 2016, 22, 2068-2074.

26. X. Jiang, D. Zhang, J. Zhang, J. Zhao, B. Wang, M. Feng, Z. Dong, G. Gao. Pyrene-appended, benzimidazoliums-urea-based ratiometric fluorescent chemosensor for highly selective detecting of H2PO4–. Anal. Methods 2013, 5, 3222-3227.

27. L. Lin, S. Zhao, D. Zhang, H. Fan, Y. Liu, M. He. Acid strength controlled reaction pathways for the catalytic cracking of 1-pentene to propene over ZSM‑5. ACS Catal. 2015, 5, 4048-4059.

28. B. Wang, E. H. M. Elageed, D. Zhang, S. Yang, S. Wu, G. Zhang, G. Gao. One-pot conversion of carbon dioxide, ethylene oxide, and amines to 3-aryl-2-oxazolidinones catalyzed with bnary ionic liquids. ChemCatChem 2014, 6, 278-283.

29. M. Chen, Y. Zhao, D. Zhang, Y. Tian, J. Wang. The immobilization of hydrophilic ionic liquid for Cr(VI) adsorption and chromium speciation. J. Anal. At. Spectrom. 2010, 25, 1688-169.

30. L. Lin, C. Qiu, Z. Zhuo, D. Zhang, S. Zhao, H. Wu, Y. Liu, M. He. Acid strength controlled reaction pathways for the catalytic cracking of 1-butene to propene over ZSM-5. J. Catal. 2014, 309,136-145.

31. M. Feng, X. Jiang, Z. Dong, D. Zhang, B. Wang, G. Gao. Selective recognition of acetate ion by perimidinium-based receptors. Tetrahedron Lett. 2012, 53, 6292-6296.

32. Z. Wu, C. Li, X. Guo, B. Li, D. Zhang, Y. Xu, F. Fang. Nanofracture on fused silica microchannel for donnan exclusion based electrokinetic stacking of biomolecules. Lab Chip 2012, 12, 3408-341.