Metallopolymers and Materials
We have been investigating the properties of self-assembled, copper-based, helical metallopolymers. We have elucidated techniques to control the triad of length, regiochemistry and stereochemistry of the helical strands and have recently elucidated the mechanism of polymerisation. In collaboration with the Friend ground (Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge) we have been studying the electronic properties of these metallopolymer chains. Through controlling the length of the helical strands, the hue of white light emission can be controlled.
We are also exploring different methods to incorporate cages into gels. We have found that cages can be introduced into tri-peptide self-assembled gels and the cavities of these capsules can be utilized for host-guest chemistry in the gel state. We have also demonstrated that metal-organic cages can be used to cross-link polymer chains to form hydrogels. These gels were fabricated into microparticles via microfluidics and the resulting particles were responsive to stimuli such as added acid and competing subcomponents.