Professor Jiong Zhou’s research group from NEU published a paper in the prestigious international journal “Nature Communications”

Written By: Edited By:张蕾Resource: NEU
Update: 2024-03-07

Professor Jiong Zhou’s research group from the College of Sciences,NEU, along with their collaborators, have recently achieved significant breakthroughs in the field of supramolecular chemistry. Their research findings, titled “Separation of benzene and toluene associated with vapochromic behaviors by hybrid [4] arene-based co-crystals”, have been published in the prestigious international journal “Nature Communications”. Jingyu Chen, a postgraduate from Professor Jiong Zhou’s research group at NEU in the class of 2021, is the first author of the paper. NEU is the first completion unit. The corresponding authors are Professor Jiong Zhou from NEU, researcher Guocan Yu from Tsinghua University, and Dr. Mengbin Wang from Zhejiang University.

Gasochromic materials refer to materials that can cause changes in the accumulation of internal molecules after gas or vapor molecules enter the material, further triggering changes in their color or luminescent properties. They have received increasing attention in environmental monitoring and pollution detection. In recent years, eutectics have provided a unique method for preparing multifunctional gasochromic materials. The combination of macrocyclic chemistry and eutectic engineering has promoted the development of materials with gasochromic behavior in supramolecular science.

Based on this, a novel main heteroaromatic [4] hydrocarbons (H) in macrocycles was designed and synthesized in this work, and a macrocyclic eutectic was obtained by the complexation of electron-rich H with electron-deficient TCNB. As a gasochromic material, H-TCNBα changes color from brown to yellow due to the selective adsorption of Bz and Tol. However, when H-TCNBα captures Cy and Py, both the structure and color remain unchanged. H-TCNBα can separate Bz from Bz/Cy and Tol from Tol/Py with a purity of 100%. Furthermore, as an adsorbent, H-TCNBα can increase the purity of Cy from 98.00% to 99.72% and Py from 97.94% to 99.35%. Single crystal X-ray diffraction, PXRD analysis, and theoretical calculations have demonstrated that the mechanism of adsorption and gasochromic behavior of H-TCNBα is attributed to the solid-phase structural transformation of H-TCNBα when capturing different vapors. The reversible conversion between adsorption and desorption endows H-TCNBα with high recyclability.

Gasochromic behavior of heteroaromatic [4] hydrocarbons

This work received strong support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, the Open Project of the National Key Laboratory of Heavy Oil, and NEU.

In the past three years, Professor Jiong Zhou’s research group has made a series of important progress in the field of supramolecular chemistry, and has published 16 high-level papers and applied for/authorized 15 national invention patents. He served as a young editorial board member of Carbon Energy, Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, VIEW, Smart Molecules, Exploration, eScience and other periodicals. He was selected as Shenyang High-level Leading Talents (2021), Fellow of the International Association of Advanced Materials (2022), Vebleo Fellow of the International Association of Scientific Organization (2022), International Association of Advanced Materials Scientist Medal (2023), and top 2% of the world's top scientists (2023). In terms of student training, the doctoral students under his guidance won the national scholarship (2023), the undergraduate students won the outstanding graduation thesis of NEU (2023), and a number of students won the innovation, entrepreneurship and scientific research awards inside and outside the university.

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