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Professor Jeremy Sanders FRS

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.


Catenation and encapsulation induce distinct reconstitutions within a dynamic library of mixed-ligand Zn4L6 cages
SP Black, DM Wood, FB Schwarz, TK Ronson, JJ Holstein, AR Stefankiewicz, CA Schalley, JKM Sanders, JR Nitschke – Chem. Sci. (2016) 7, 2614
Guest-induced transformation of a porphyrin-edged FeII4L6 capsule into a CuIFeII2L4 fullerene receptor
DM Wood, W Meng, TK Ronson, AR Stefankiewicz, JKM Sanders, JR Nitschke – Angewandte Chemie - International Edition (2015) 54, 3988
Molecular motion of donor-acceptor catenanes in water
FB Cougnon, N Ponnuswamy, GD Pantoş, JK Sanders – Org Biomol Chem (2015) 13, 2927
Guest-Induced Transformation of a Porphyrin-Edged Fe II 4 L 6 Capsule into a Cu I Fe II 2 L 4 Fullerene Receptor
DM Wood, W Meng, TK Ronson, AR Stefankiewicz, JK Sanders, JR Nitschke – Angew Chem Int Ed Engl (2015) 54, 3988
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
Dynamic combinatorial chemistry at the phospholipid bilayer interface
FM Mansfeld, HY Au-Yeung, JKM Sanders, S Otto – Journal of Systems Chemistry (2013) 1, 12
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
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Research Group

Research Interest Groups

Telephone number

01223 336411

Email address