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Professor Jeremy Sanders FRS

Portrait of jkms

We are interested in molecular recognition, aiming to uncover and exploit the rules governing non-covalent interactions. Hydrophobic, π–π, donor–acceptor, metal– ligand and hydrogen bonding interactions are used to create new supramolecular systems that expand our understanding of molecular behaviour and may have useful recognition, catalytic or photophysical properties. In particular in the past few years we have developed the concept of dynamic combinatorial chemistry as a new approach for discovering entirely unexpected structures and assemblies. Over the years our building blocks have included peptides, metalloporphyrins, steroids and simple aromatics, and our products have included macrocycles, rotaxanes, catenanes, molecular knots and supramolecular nanotubes. Some examples are shown below.

Please note that I am not taking any new students or postdocs into my research group.





Selected Publications


Evolution of dynamic combinatorial chemistry, Accounts Chem. Res., (2012), 45, 2211.

Discovery of an organic trefoil knot, Science, (2012), 338, 783.

Templated dynamic synthesis of a [3]Catenane, Angew. Chemie Intl. Edn., (2012), 51, 1443.

Thermodynamics of supramolecular naphthalenediimide nanotubes, J. Am. Chem. Soc., (2012), 134, 566.

Discovery of linear receptors for multiple dihydrogen phosphate ions using dynamic combinatorial chemistry, J. Am. Chem. Soc., (2011), 133, 3804.

Formation pathways of Donor-Acceptor catenanes in aqueous dynamic combinatorial libraries, J. Am. Chem. Soc., (2011), 133, 3198.

Solid-state dynamic combinatorial chemistry, Chem. Sci., (2011), 2, 696.

An unexpected receptor for C70, Angew. Chemie Intl. Edn., (2008), 47, 2689.


Direct Observation of Intermediates in a Thermodynamically Controlled Solid-State Dynamic Covalent Reaction
AM Belenguer, GI Lampronti, DJ Wales, JK Sanders – Journal of the American Chemical Society (2014) 136, 16156
Homochiral and meso figure eight knots and a Solomon link.
N Ponnuswamy, FB Cougnon, GD Pantoş, JK Sanders – Journal of the American Chemical Society (2014) 136, 8243
Disulfide exchange: exposing supramolecular reactivity through dynamic covalent chemistry
SP Black, JK Sanders, AR Stefankiewicz – Chemical Society reviews (2014) 43, 1861
Editorial: how can change be achieved?- energy saving in cambridge.
JK Sanders – Angew Chem Int Ed Engl (2013) 52, 10914
Generation of a Dynamic System of Three-Dimensional Tetrahedral Polycatenanes
SP Black, AR Stefankiewicz, MM Smulders, D Sattler, CA Schalley, JR Nitschke, JK Sanders – Angew Chem Int Ed Engl (2013) 52, 5749
Diverse topologies in dynamic combinatorial libraries from tri- and mono-thiols in water: sensitivity to weak supramolecular interactions.
AR Stefankiewicz, JK Sanders – Chemical communications (Cambridge, England) (2013) 49, 5820
Evolution of Dynamic Combinatorial Chemistry
FB Cougnon, JK Sanders – Accounts of Chemical Research (2012) 45, 2211
Structural parameters governing the dynamic combinatorial synthesis of catenanes in water.
FB Cougnon, N Ponnuswamy, NA Jenkins, GD Pantoş, JK Sanders – Journal of the American Chemical Society (2012) 134, 19129
Discovery of an organic trefoil knot.
N Ponnuswamy, FB Cougnon, JM Clough, GD Pantoş, JK Sanders – Science (2012) 338, 783
Self-assembly of topologically complex architectures
SP Black, JKM Sanders, JR Nitschke, AR Stefankiewicz, MMJ Smulders – ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY (2012) 244
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Research Group

Research Interest Groups

Telephone number

01223 336411

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