Welcome to www.Dendrimers.com

     Synthetic efforts at the Center for Molecular Design and Recognition (CMDR), located on the fifth floor of the Goodyear Polymer Center at the University of Akron and founded by Professor George R. Newkome, a pioneer and founding father of dendrimer chemistry, are focused on the investigation of new molecules, polymers, and nanoscopic constructs that possess unique architectures and utilitarian features. Over the years, this has led our group to become involved in the preparation of numerous supramolecular and heterocyclic structures such as crown ethers, rotaxanes, and polypyridines. Presently, we are concentrating on the construction of highly branched architectures, known as dendrimers and hyperbranched polymers, along with their attendant properties. Associated with the construction of these macromolecules is also the design and preparation of building blocks that facilitate a modular synthetic approach aimed at the ability to fine tune the desired properties of higher order structures such as functional group density, internal void volume, hydrophilicity/lipophilicity, mode of assembly, and molecular recognition capability, to mention but a few.

     An example of the versatility of this approach is evident in the ability to prepare the molecular equivalent of a "Rubik's Cube" termed a "Rubik's Sphere" (pictured in the upper left hand corner of this page). The Rubik's Sphere can be envisioned by considering the grafting of building blocks, or spherelets (analogous to cubelets), with differing terminal functionality to the surface of a spherical polymer (a dendrimer) whereby the properties of bond and branch rotation produce a dynamic and heterogeneous surface. Ramifications include the potential for terminal groups or units to rotate to 'separated' or 'adjacent' conformations which in turn affords the foundation to begin to control relative functional group positional parameters in large molecules. Other current projects in our laboratories involve the preparation of ligands with multiple metal attachment sites configured to facilitate the self-assembly of higher order architectures that span the organic-inorganic interface.

     Synthetic efforts are also focused on the self-assembly of multiple metal arrays, where the metal juxtaposition is strictly controlled. This has led to the development of protocols that facilitate the creation of nanoscale, polymetal materials capable of acting as nanoscale energy storage devices. To date, numerous Ru-, Fe-, Cd-, Zn-, and Os-based arrays have been prepared, along with some mixed-metal constructs. Construction of these unique assemblies is predicated on the development of suitable building blocks possessing architectural elements that facilitate self-assembly, such as found in our bisterpyridine ligands possessing 120 degree terpyridine-terpyridine positioning.

     The self-assembly process is well-suited to the construction of materials possessing repeating molecular motifs, or shapes, at differing size scales. Thus, the construction of non-dendritic, "Fractal" molecular architectures is also a prime target in our laboratories. Fractal materials are an extension of dendritic architecture which has been shown to exhibit fractal characteristics.

     Our Fractal nanomolecular architectures are a logical extension of the dendritic chemistry developed in our laboratories. Thus, our efforts in both arenas are focused on atomic geometry and the potential to design and craft specific, polyatomic geometries that in-turn allow the construction of more and more complex structures. We herein dedicate this site to linking past discoveries and insights with that of current, state-of-the-art research. The manuscripts listed below describe some of our initial work related to the now well-known regime of dendritic chemistry.

Read about Prof. Newkome's pioneering work on Arborols and Unimolecular Micelles in a 1986 review written by Prof. Frederick Menger.

Read more about Prof. Newkome's pioneering work on Arborols and Unimolecular Micelles in this 1988 C&E News article written by Ward Worthy

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 Dates and Notices

Research: Self-assembly, Dendrimers, Arborols

     The Center for Molecular Design and Recognition is located at the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio. We are part of the University's College of Polymer Science & Polymer Engineering as well as the Department of Chemistry. A virtual tour of the campus is available. Prospective students are encouraged to apply online.

     Support for CMDR is provided in part by National Science Foundation Grant 1151991, as well as corporate sponsors. We are thankful to NSF for funding our new TWIM-MS located in the laboratories of Prof. Chrys Wesdemiotis in the Knight Chemical building.

     We wish Ms. Roseanna Helmick from Kenmore High School in Akron OH, who worked in our labs the past two summers, success and fun in her new role as an undergradute in the Department of Biomolecular Engineering here at The University of Akron. While working with Dr. Newkome's gourp, Ms. Helmick first studied the potential to create new dendritic frameworks and 3-dimensional networks based on functionalized adamantane monomers, then she applied some of her results for the creation of new, amine-termintated dendritic architectures based on urea building block connectivity.

     Also during this past summer, as part of the 2013 Research Experience for Undergraduates, Mr. Roger Dilla from The University of Pittsburg worked on the preparation of new amine-based dendrons for the construction of new dendrimers, along with Ms. Helmick, (now) Dr. Xiaocun Lu, Prof. Carol Shreiner of Hiram College in Hiram, OH and one of Prof. Shreiner's undergraduate students, Ms. Alisa Cario. Dr. Tingsheng Xie from Renmin University located in Beijing, China and Ms. Shengyun Liao from Nankai University located in Tianjin, China both continue to work on the crafting of new materials using self-assembly techniques.

     This summer we were also fortunate to host Prof. Tariq Mohammad from the Department of Chemistry at Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, Iraq. He worked on the developement of novel, nanofiber membranes produced by electrospinning techniques and was sponsored by the non-profit agency CRDF Global, located in Washington, D. C.

     Please note that our entire website is undergoing a reconstruction. We hope you will pardon our dust as we add new links and update pages.

     Please also check out our new updated and searchable nanotechnology database - it contains approximatley 14,000 references related to dendritic, terpyridine, fratal, and supramolecular chemistry. We invite your comments.

Nanotechnology Database: Dendrimers, Terpyridine, Self-Assembly, and Fractals

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Site last modified: 09/13/2013