Welcome to the Leigh group website


Catalysis Pump 2D Mol Woven Fabric The Endless Knot Tying a Molecule in Knots Pulsed Fuel Motors A Molecular Assembler A Synthetic Molecular 819 Knot Allosteric Knot Catalysis The Nanomotor A Star of David Catenane A Star of David Catenane Making Molecules that Make Molecules A Synthetic Molecular Pentafoil Knot A Synthetic Small Molecule that Walks down a Track Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Rotaxanes A Molecular Information Ratchet
Interested in joining the Leigh group as a PhD or postdoc? See here.

Professor David A Leigh FRS FRSE FRSC MAE

Professor David A. Leigh

Our research

Our group explores, invents and discovers fundamental ways to control molecular-level dynamics and topology. This includes strategies and methods to synthesize interlocked molecular architectures (e.g. benzylic amide and metal ‘passive template’ catenanes, rotaxanes and molecular shuttles [1995-] and catalytic ‘active template’ synthesis
[2006-]), molecular machinery [1999-], molecular ratchet mechanisms [2003-], molecular knotting [2011-], molecular assemblers [2013-], molecular robotics [2016-] and molecular weaving [2020-]. For some highlights see HERE.

Perhaps the best way to appreciate the technological potential of controlled molecular-level motion is to recognise that nanomotors and molecular-level machines lie at the heart of every significant biological process. Over billions of years of evolution Nature has not repeatedly chosen this solution for achieving complex task performance without good reason. When we learn how to build artificial structures that can control and exploit molecular level motion, and interface their effects directly with other molecular-level substructures and the outside world, it will potentially impact on every aspect of functional molecule and materials design. An improved understanding of physics and biology will surely follow.

"What I cannot create, I do not understand"

Richard P. Feynman...................

Group's Research Interests

Group's Research Interests

"If you want to conquer the ocean and reach out for new continents don't tell your men to get wood and nails to build a ship, just instil in them the yearning for the expanse of the seas and distant lands"

Antoine de Saint-Exupery