- Organic and Supramolecular Chemistry
- Materials Science
At the intersection of supramolecular chemistry, physical organic chemistry, and materials science, the Olivier Laboratory develops supramolecular tools to engineer organic compositions equipped with structure-function properties not achievable by contemporary approaches. Specifically, we aim to modulate the excitonic and potentiometric properties of non-covalent assemblies. Our long-term goal is to establish rules and principles to optimize light-matter interactions, control the flow of energy across mesoscale dimensions, and delineate platforms enabling mechanical energy transduction.
It remains a long-standing goal for chemists to manipulate non-covalent interactions between π-conjugated building blocks that dictate the structure-function properties of nanoscale objects. Current technology relies on structures at thermodynamic equilibrium that are neither structurally nor electronically optimized to, for example, efficiently migrate charges and excitons. In addition, supramolecular assemblies are notoriously fragile material compositions where transient structure-function properties are contingent upon temperature, solvent, and pressure conditions. Consequently, the elucidation of structure-function properties that characterize transient states with shallow potential wells (metastable and out-of-equilibrium states) has all but failed due to the lack of strategies to capture these conformations adopted by superstructures. To tackle these modern roadblocks, we are pioneering strategies to: 1) navigate the assembly-free energy landscape by perturbing the electrostatic interactions that regulate superstructure conformation, and 2) capture the conformation of supramolecular polymers in solution and at the solid-liquid interface. By exploiting a suite of analytical techniques, we investigate the structural and electronic properties of the materials we are engineering to quantify the validity of our approaches. Besides this effort, we are delineating new organic materials to functionalize neural interfaces with the goal of reducing foreign body responses, specifically neuroinflammation and oxidative stress due to implanted electrodes