The Synthesis and Study of Molecular Knots and Links

UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • Alexander Stephens


Molecular knots and links are intriguing natural phenomena found to spontaneously form in both the biomacromolecules essential for life (e.g. DNA and proteins) and synthetic polymers. As the presence of these entanglements can influence the stability and tensile strength of such molecules, a better understanding of the factors governing their formation and properties is desirable. In this thesis, the synthesis of several new molecular knot and link topologies is described, the majority of which surpass the current scope of interlocked molecules in terms of their structural complexity. The presented strategy utilises the self-assembly of ligand strands and metal cations into circular helicate arrangements, followed by cyclisation of the interwoven complexes through olefin ring-closing metathesis to afford a knot or link. The topological chirality displayed by such molecules is studied, along with their ability to act as receptors for halide anions and metal cations.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date1 Aug 2016