Crystal Engineering (CE) aims at understanding intermolecular interactions in the context of the crystal packing and utilize such understanding in the design and synthesis of new solid-state functional structures with desired physical and chemical properties. The research of the SBNLab runs through all areas of CE and focus mainly on achieving precise structural control by using supramolecular synthons based on halogen, hydrogen, or coordination bonds. SBNLab research interests include the development of organic and metallorganic materials (MOFs, COFs or SOFs) for sensing and separation [1,2] as well as the synthesis of new pharmaceutical materials (co-crystals, polymorphs, and salts) with improved pharmacological properties. Part of the research is also devoted to the development of dynamic supramolecular motors (gyroscopes and spinning tops) in the solid state. In addition, biomolecular CE is a large parte of activity at the SBNLab. Research in this field focuses on the use of the halogen atoms in biological molecules to control the assembly of amino acids, oligopeptides, and proteins and studying the interactions of these latter with halogenated pollutants. Finally, we recently focused on the design and synthesis of gold nanoclusters and their structural studies. More broadly, X-ray crystallography is a fundamental research tool at SBNLab and impact all running research areas.
1. H. Takezawa, T. Murase, G. Resnati, P. Metrangolo, M. Fujita, Recognition of polyfluorinated compounds through self-aggregation in a cavity. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 1786.
2. J. Martí-Rujas, L. Meazza, G. K. Lim, G. Terraneo, T. Pilati, K. D. M. Harris, P. Metrangolo, G. Resnati, An adaptable and dynamically porous organic salt traps unique tetrahalide dianions. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 13444.
3. M. Baldrighi, G. Cavallo, M. R. Chierotti, R. Gobetto, P. Metrangolo, T. Pilati, G. Resnati, G. Terraneo, Halogen bonding and pharmaceutical cocrystals: the case of a widely used preservative. Mol. Pharm. 2013, 10, 1760.
4. L. Catalano, S. Pérez-Estrada, G. Terraneo, T. Pilati, G. Resnati, P. Metrangolo, M. A. Garcia-Garibay, Dynamic characterization of crystalline supramolecular rotors assembled through halogen bonding. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 15386.
5. A. Bertolani, A. Pizzi, L. Pirrie, L. Gazzera, G. Morra, M. Meli, G. Colombo, A. Genoni, G. Cavallo, G. Terraneo, P. Metrangolo, Crystal structure of the DFNKF segment of human calcitonin unveils aromatic interactions between phenylalanines. Chem. Eur. J. 2017, 23, 2051.