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Department of Chemistry


BSc(Hons) (Madrid), PhD (City University, London)

Postdoctoral research assistant in the group of Professor Chris Hunter reporting to Professor Jeremy Sanders

Research Interests

In my current research, I am combining my experience in dynamic covalent chemistry (DCC) in solution pioneered by Professor Jeremy Sanders with the emergence of organic reactions performed in the solid state by ball mill grinding.  Solid state reactions can lead to the formation of polymorphs of the product.  I envisage that ball mill grinding will become a powerful tool in the synthetic chemist toolbox once the mechanism and the driving force of the reaction is well understood with the added attraction of green and clean chemistry.  This project is a close collaboration with Dr. Giulio Lampronti from the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge; Giulio is applying his expertise in solid state chemistry and performs the Rietveld refinement of PXRD data to obtain the solid state composition of the products obtained by ball mill grinding. We are motivated to uncover the driving force of these solid state reactions by ball mill grinding.  Using disulfide exchange reaction we have demonstrated that solid state reaction by ball mill grinding is driven by thermodynamics, just as in solution.  We believe that ball mill grinding results in the formation of nanocrystals, these nanocrystals having a large surface per volume ratio which modulate the thermodynamic outcome of the reaction depending on the experimental conditions.  We are now working on demonstrating that thermodynamic driven force with ball mill grinding may be universal and can be applied to other reactions such as organic and inorganic synthesis and even polymorph and cocrystal formation of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) obtained by ball mill grinding.
I am an expert in small molecules HPLC method development. I am pursuing my personal interest of rationalising the separation of analytes in HPLC by supramolecular chemistry.


On the prevalence of smooth polymorphs at the nanoscale: implications for pharmaceuticals
AM Belenguer, AJ Cruz-Cabeza, GI Lampronti, JKM Sanders
– CrystEngComm
Understanding the Influence of Surface Solvation and Structure on Polymorph Stability: A Combined Mechanochemical and Theoretical Approach.
AM Belenguer, GI Lampronti, N De Mitri, M Driver, CA Hunter, JKM Sanders
– J Am Chem Soc
Dynamic Covalent Chemistry under High-Pressure:A New Route to Disulfide Metathesis
S Sobczak, W Drożdż, GI Lampronti, AM Belenguer, A Katrusiak, AR Stefankiewicz
– Chemistry
Reliable Mechanochemistry: Protocols for Reproducible Outcomes of Neat and Liquid Assisted Ball-mill Grinding Experiments
AM Belenguer, GI Lampronti, JKM Sanders
– J Vis Exp
ARTN e56824
(DOI: 10.3791/56824)
Solvation and surface effects on polymorph stabilities at the nanoscale
AM Belenguer, GI Lampronti, AJ Cruz-Cabeza, CA Hunter, JKM Sanders
– Chemical science
Differentially Addressable Cavities within Metal-Organic Cage-Cross-Linked Polymeric Hydrogels.
JA Foster, RM Parker, AM Belenguer, N Kishi, S Sutton, C Abell, JR Nitschke
– J Am Chem Soc
Two-stage directed self-assembly of a cyclic [3]catenane.
CS Wood, TK Ronson, AM Belenguer, JJ Holstein, JR Nitschke
– Nat Chem
Direct observation of intermediates in a thermodynamically controlled solid-state dynamic covalent reaction.
AM Belenguer, GI Lampronti, DJ Wales, JKM Sanders
– J Am Chem Soc
Enantiopure water-soluble [Fe4L6] cages: host-guest chemistry and catalytic activity.
JL Bolliger, AM Belenguer, JR Nitschke
– Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English)
Erratum: Real-time and in situ monitoring of mechanochemical milling reactions
T Friščić, I Halasz, PJ Beldon, AM Belenguer, F Adams, SAJ Kimber, V Honkimäki, RE Dinnebier
– Nature Chemistry
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01223 336508

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