Pushing the Limits of Coordination-Driven Self-Assembly: Construction of Giant 2D and 3D Supramolecular Architectures

TitlePushing the Limits of Coordination-Driven Self-Assembly: Construction of Giant 2D and 3D Supramolecular Architectures


SpeakerDr. Xiaopeng Li

                  University of South Florida, USA


Time14:00 PM, July 20th

Location912-1114, Dushu Lake Campus




Due to its highly directional and predictable feature, coordination-driven self-assembly has evolved into a well-established methodology for constructing 2D and 3D supramolecules. Up to date, this field has matured in the context of a large variety of macrocycles and polyhedra, which however, still suffered from a lack of complexity and thus were unable to reach the high degrees of functionality found in natural systems. With the goal of assembling structures with high complexity, we pushed the limits of coordination self-assembly through constructing a series of giant 2D and 3D supramolecular architectures. First, multi-armed building blocks were synthesized using pyrylium and pyridinium salts chemistry for the self-assembly of 2D nested concentric hexagons, or Kandinsky circles, which showed high antimicrobial activity. Second, step-wise strategy was utilized to combine folding and self-assembly together to construct fuzzy supramolecular hexagonal grids (diameter > 20 nm, MW > 65 kDa) with intrinsically ordered and disordered domains. Third, pre-assembled supramolecular polyhedra with precisely-controlled shapes and sizes could further assemble into double-helical nanowires with a non-natural parastichy pattern. In conclusion, through further understanding of self-assembly of supramolecules, our research could advance the design, synthesis and self-assembly of new synthetic materials with molecular level precision.



Dr. Xiaopeng Li received his B.S. degree in Chemistry at Zhengzhou University, China in 2004, earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2008 at Cleveland State University, and then worked as a postdoc fellow at University of Akron. He started his independent career at Texas State University in 2012, then moved to University of South Florida as Assistant Professor in 2016. 

His specific research interests include:

1) self-assembly of giant metallo-supramolecules to bridge mathematic geometry and supramolecular chemistry;

2) seeking novel application of metallo-supramolecules;

3) advancing supramolecular chemistry characterization using mass spectrometry.

His research program is funded by NSF, NIH, ACS-PRF and Research Corporation. He received Cram Lehn Pedersen Prize 2019 in Supramolecular Chemistry.


Selected Publications

1)      Zeyuan Zhang, Zhengqing Zhao, Yali Hou, Heng Wang, Xiaopeng Li, Gang He and Mingming Zhang*.Aqueous Platinum(II) CageBased LightHarvesting System for Photocatalytic Cross-Coupling Hydrogen Evolution Reaction. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2019, 58, 8862 –8866.

2)      Guocan Yu, Tian-Yong Cen, Zhimei He, Shu-Ping Wang, Zhantong Wang, Xin-Wen Ying, Shijun Li, Orit Jacobson, Sheng Wang, Lei Wang, Lisen Lin, Rui Tian, Zijian Zhou, Qianqian Ni, Xiaopeng Li and Xiaoyuan Chen*. Porphyrin Nanocage-Embedded Single Molecular Nanoparticle as Cancer Nanotheranostics. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2019, 58, 8799 –8803.

3)      Peng Teng, Geoffrey M. Gray, Mengmeng Zheng, Sylvia Singh, Xiaopeng Li, Lukasz Wojtas, Arjan van?der?Vaart, Jianfeng Cai*. Orthogonal Halogen-Bonding-Driven 3D Supramolecular Assembly of Right-Handed Synthetic Helical Peptides. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2019, 58, 7778 –7782.

4)      Zhe Zhang, Heng Wang, Junjuan Shi, Pingshan Wang, Changlin Liu, Ming Wang*, Xiaopeng Li*. Stepwise Self-Assembly and Dynamic Exchange of Supramolecular Snowflakes. Isr. J. Chem., 2019, 59, 237 – 247.

5)      Bo Song, Sneha Kandapal, Jiali Gu, Keren Zhang, Alex Reese, Yuanfang Ying, Lei Wang, Heng Wang, Yiming Li, Ming Wang, Shuai Lu, Xin-Qi Hao*, Xiaohong Li*, Bingqian Xu*, Xiaopeng Li*. Self-assembly of polycyclic supramolecules using linear metal-organic ligands. Nat. Commun., 2018 , 9, 4575.

6)      Lei Wang, Ran Liu, Jiali Gu, Bo Song, Heng Wang, Xin Jiang, Keren Zhang, Xin Han, Xin-Qi Hao, Shi Bai, Ming Wang*, Xiaohong Li*, Bingqian Xu*, and Xiaopeng Li*. Self-assembly of supramolecular fractals from generation 1 to 5. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2018, 140, 12819–12828.