University of Cambridge > > Chemistry Departmental-wide lectures > Melville Lectures 2019 "Luminescent complexes: assemblies, sensing, towards artificial virus"

Melville Lectures 2019 "Luminescent complexes: assemblies, sensing, towards artificial virus"

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Luminescent molecules that can undergo self-assembly are of great interest for the development of new materials, sensors, biolabels…. The talk will illustrate some of the recent results on soft structures based on metal complexes able to aggregate in fibers, gels and soft mechanochromic materials1. The emission of the compounds can be tuned by an appropriate choice of the coordinated ligands as well as of their aggregation in different structures. The formation of soft assemblies allows the tuning of the emission color, by pressure and temperature leading to a new class of materials possessing reversible properties. The monitoring of the different emission properties, used as fingerprint for each of the assembled species, allowed an unprecedented real-time visualization of the evolving self-assemblies2. The assemblies can be employed as very sensistive labels for the detection of toxins and drugs3. Indeed even though sensing based on fluorescent and luminescent probes are commonly used, the use of aggregates in water allows to distinguish between analytes possessing very similar electronic properties. Sensing can also be done using electrochemiluminescence, ECL . We have recently achieved the first example of aggregation induced ECL showing that assemblies in solution and in the solid state (deposited on the electrode) can generate bright emission4. Finally I wish to close my talk showing novel capsules that can be realized using a unique approach to template virus proteins to reconstruct virus-like particles. We use supramolecular structures in water solutions, that can act as templates of viruses capsid proteins. The assemblies can have different morphologies and extremely high emission of which the color depends on the assembly. Interestingly we are able to change the size and shape of the particles even though we use the same natural proteins5.

References [1] C. A. Strassert, L. De Cola et al. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2011, 50, 946; M. Mauro, L. De Cola et al. Chem. Commun. 2014, 50, 7269, [2] A. Aliprandi, M. Mauro, L. De Cola Nature Chemistry , 2016, 8, 10-15 [3] S. Sinn, L. De Cola et al. Chem. Eu. J., 2017, 23, 1965-1971. [4] S. Carrara, A. Aliprandi, C. Hogan, L. De Cola J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 39, 14605–14610. [5] S. Sinn, L . De Cola et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 2355-2362.

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