Molecular and Interfacial Engineering of Organic Nanosystems

Prof. Mathias Senge holds the Chair of Organic Chemistry at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and is Hans Fischer Senior Fellow at TUM-IAS. Together with his TUM hosts Prof. Johannes Barth and Prof. Wilhelm Auwärter from the Department of Physics this Focus Group targets the molecular and interfacial engineering of organic nanosystems.

Chemistry at interfaces is very different from that in solution. This Focus Group combines classic chemical synthesis with advances in the construction of functional molecular architectures on surfaces. Our molecules of choice are porphyrins, the red and green pigments of life that give blood and green plants their characteristic colors. Recent breakthroughs in the chemistry, molecular engineering, and physical characterization of porphyrins have opened up tremendous application opportunities for functional nanodevices. We will use a molecular engineering approach, together with unique cube- and propeller-shaped linker structures, to affect a transformational advance in the molecular design and control of nanoconstructs. These systems will have tunable electronic, photonic, and chemical functionalities for the translational development of platform technologies in the materials sciences aimed at new catalysts and sensors.

Tetrapyrroles are the pigments of life and are a unique class of ubiquitous natural compounds and targets of strategic importance in biology, industry (pigments, catalysts, sensors, nanomaterials) and medicine (theranostics). Recent breakthroughs in their chemistry, molecular engineering, and physical characterization on surfaces are opening tremendous application opportunities for functional nanodevices. Thus, porphyrins will serve as innovative ‘molecular systems’ for an interdisciplinary approach towards materials science research at TUM.

The team will focus on using the unique optical, photophysical, electrochemical, and structural properties of porphyrins in conjunction with novel linker structures to affect a transformational advance in the molecular design and control of nanoconstructs with tunable electronic, photonic and chemical functionalities. The practical utility of porphyrin-based 1D, 2D, and 3D materials for device development will be assessed in collaboration with research partners from industry and academia. The key concept is the use of tetrapyrroles as ‘functional’ platforms and rigid hydrocarbon linkers (such as cubanes and bicyclopentane) as ‘structural’ systems of choice for the on-surface synthesis of nanostructured arrays. These systems will have tunable chemical and photophysical properties for the translational development of platform technologies in the materials sciences.

TUM-IAS funded postdoctoral researcher:
Dr. Biao Yang, Department of Physics, Physics of Surfaces and Interfaces

Publications by the Focus Group

2021

  • Kingsbury, Christopher J.; Senge, Mathias O.: The shape of porphyrins. Coordination Chemistry Reviews 431, 2021, 213760 mehr…

2020

  • Grover, Nitika; Flanagan, Keith J.; Trujillo, Cristina; Kingsbury, Christopher J.; Senge, Mathias O.: An Insight into Non‐Covalent Interactions on the Bicyclo[1.1.1]pentane Scaffold. European Journal of Organic Chemistry 2021 (7), 2020, 1113-1122 mehr…