Dr Paul Lusby

Dr Paul Lusby

Senior Lecturer in Supramolecular Chemistry

Room 225

University of Edinburgh
Joseph Black Building
David Brewster Road

Research Interests

Synthetic coordination chemistry, metallosupramolecular chemistry, molecular machines and motors, functional self-assembled systems

Research Overview

The focus of our research is in the application of synthetic coordination chemistry to a number of contemporary research areas such as artificial molecular machines and motors, and multifunctional self-assembled systems. We have recently discovered a cyclometallated platinum coordination motif which reveals/masks cis coordinating groups in response to pH changes.

This has been exploited to create metallosupramolelcular systems which assemble in the presence of acid and disassemble when treated with base. We are currently exploring ways of linking this responsive behavior to other functions such as catalysis, sensing or transport. Using similar compounds, we have also shown it possible to control both the kinetics and thermodynamics of ligand exchange using light and proton inputs, which we anticipate will play a key role in the development of future devices such as molecular machines.

Overview of molecular shuttle


  1. Dual Stimuli-Responsive Interconvertible Heteroleptic Platinum Coordination Modes S. J. Pike, P. J. Lusby, Chem. Commun., 201
  2. Improved dynamics and positional bias with a second generation Pd-complexed molecular shuttle D. A. Leigh, P. J. Lusby, R.T. McBurney, M. D. Symes, Chem. Commun. 2010 , 2382.
  3. Stimuli-Responsive Reversible Assembly of 2D and 3D Metallosupramolecular Architectures P. J. Lusby, P. Müller, S. J. Pike, A. M. Z. Slawin J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 16398.
  4. An Ion-Pair Template for Rotaxane Formation and its Exploitation in an Orthogonal Interaction Anion-Switchable Molecular Shuttle M.J. Barrell, D. A. Leigh, P. J. Lusby, A. M. Z. Slawin, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2008, 47, 8036.
  5. Active Template Synthesis of Rotaxanes and Molecular Shuttles with Switchable Dynamics via Four-Component Pd(II)-Promoted Michael Additions S. M. Goldup, D. A. Leigh, P. J. Lusby, R. T. McBurney, A. M. Z. Slawin, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2008, 47, 3381.