Denmark: McKenzie Group: Bioinorganic Chemistry & Nanobioscience
Inspired by the way in which living organisms utilise the unique chemical and physical properties of the transition metal ions in metalloenzymes, gene regulation, homeostasis and much more, we design and prepare molecular and supramolecular transition metal- containing compounds. The organic ligands are designed to furnish specific metal binding sites so that Nature's tricks might be elucidated and molecules and materials with useful biomimetic functions might be discovered.
There are a multitude of applications for these molecules, for example, as catalysts for redox and non-redox reactions, as new materials with specific optical or magnetic properties; as metal-containing drugs, in medical imaging and diagnostics, and in artificial photosynthesis.
Functional molecules are the building blocks of the nanoscale devices of the future.
Apart from organic and inorganic synthesis, our research relies on a battery of characterisation and spectroscopic techniques. Of particular importance is single crystal X-ray structure determination (Andrew Bond, SDU). A broad range of techniques become possible because of the presence of transition metal ions. In house facilities available include NMR, ESR spectroscopy and ESI mass spectrometry. Some compounds require the use of advanced techniques like, magnetochemistry, Mössbauer spectroscopy, electrochemistry and MCD and synchrotron X-ray techniques. For some of these studies we collaborate with groups in Australia, USA, England, France and Germany. Thus research students gain a broad experience from synthesis to spectroscopy to structural chemistry.