Helical Nanotubes from the Directed Assembly of Porous Macrocycles
Gong, Bing Principal Investigator
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With this award, the Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry Program supports the work of Professor Bing Gong of SUNY Buffalo and Professor Xiao Cheng Zeng of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. This research will involve the construction of self-assembling nanotubes from macrocycles (large ring molecules) with nano-sized cross sectional cavities of ~1-3 nm in diameter. A recently discovered 1-step synthesis of rigid large macrocycles will be the basis for preparing these large macrocycles. They will contain groups which will allow them to self-assemble, using hydrogen bonding and aromatic ring stacking, into nanotubes. These new design strategies will allow these nanotubes to be chiral and further, the tube dimensions can be varied along with the tube functionality. Parallel computational studies on the proposed system will be carried out which will guide as well as confirm the experimental effort. Nanofluidic properties of the proposed chiral nanotubular structures will be obtained and this will provide guidance for future experimental studies. The broader impacts of this research involve the interdisciplinary combining of the design, synthesis, characterization and computational aspects of the project in the training of students. The project will involve undergraduate students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences and students who have limited exposure and access to the latest developments in nanosciences. Finally, the availability of these macrocycles, along with their easy modification, will lead to numerous self-assembling helical nanotubes with variable size and stability, which will result in the construction of previously unavailable materials that may find applications in a variety of fields.