School of Chemistry - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 663
Crystallisation control of drop-cast quasi-2D/3D perovskite layers for efficient solar cells
<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Introducing layered quasi-2D perovskite phases into a conventional 3D perovskite light-absorbing matrix is a promising strategy for overcoming the limited environmental stability of 3D perovskite solar cells. Here, we present a simple drop-casting method for preparing hybrid perovskite films comprising both quasi-2D and quasi-3D phases, formed using phenylethylammonium or iso-butylammonium as spacer cations. The film morphology, phase purity, and crystal orientation of the hybrid quasi-2D/3D perovskite films are improved significantly by applying a simple N<jats:sub>2</jats:sub> blow-drying step, together with inclusion of methylammonium chloride as an additive. An enhanced power conversion efficiency of 16.0% is achieved using an iso-butylammonium-based quasi-2D/3D perovskite layer which, to our knowledge, is the highest recorded to date for a quasi-2D/3D perovskite solar cells containing a non-spin-cast perovskite layer prepared under ambient laboratory conditions.</jats:p>
Automated radiosynthesis of [Ga-68]Ga-PSMA-11 and [Lu-177]Lu-PSMA-617 on the iPHASE MultiSyn module for clinical applications
Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-targeted imaging and therapy of prostate cancer using theranostic pairs is rapidly changing clinical practice. To facilitate clinical trials, fully automated procedures for the radiosyntheses of [68 Ga]Ga-PSMA-11 and [177 Lu]Lu-PSMA-617 were developed from commercially available precursors using the cassette based iPHASE MultiSyn module. Formulated and sterile radiopharmaceuticals were obtained in 76 ± 3% (n = 20) and 91 ± 4% (n = 15) radiochemical yields after 17 and 20 min, respectively. Radiochemical purity was always >95% and molar activities exceeded 792 ± 100 and 88 ± 6 GBq/μmol, respectively. Quality control showed conformity with all relevant release criteria and radiopharmaceuticals were used in the clinic.
TBK1 and IKK epsilon Act Redundantly to Mediate STING-Induced NF-kappa B Responses in Myeloid Cells
(CELL PRESS, 2020-04-07)
Stimulator of Interferon Genes (STING) is a critical component of host innate immune defense but can contribute to chronic autoimmune or autoinflammatory disease. Once activated, the cyclic guanosine monophosphate (GMP)-adenosine monophosphate (AMP) (cGAMP) synthase (cGAS)-STING pathway induces both type I interferon (IFN) expression and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB)-mediated cytokine production. Currently, these two signaling arms are thought to be mediated by a single upstream kinase, TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1). Here, using genetic and pharmacological approaches, we show that TBK1 alone is dispensable for STING-induced NF-κB responses in human and mouse immune cells, as well as in vivo. We further demonstrate that TBK1 acts redundantly with IκB kinase ε (IKKε) to drive NF-κB upon STING activation. Interestingly, we show that activation of IFN regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) is highly dependent on TBK1 kinase activity, whereas NF-κB is significantly less sensitive to TBK1/IKKε kinase inhibition. Our work redefines signaling events downstream of cGAS-STING. Our findings further suggest that cGAS-STING will need to be targeted directly to effectively ameliorate the inflammation underpinning disorders associated with STING hyperactivity.
Highly efficient radiative recombination in intrinsically zero-dimensional perovskite micro-crystals prepared by thermally-assisted solution-phase synthesis
(ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY, 2020-12-07)
<p>0D Cs<sub>4</sub>PbBr<sub>6</sub> perovskite microcrystals exhibit a radiative recombination coefficient two orders of magnitude higher than typical 3D perovskite.</p>
Iridium-catalysed 3,5-bis-borylation of phthalonitrile enables access to a family ofC(4h)octaarylphthalocyanines
(ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY, 2020-08-04)
Ir-catalysed borylation of phthalonitrile produces both 4-(Bpin)phthalonitrile (1) and 3,5-bis(Bpin)phthalonitrile (2), which are potential divergent intermediates for the synthesis of functionalized phthalocyanines. To exemplify the utility of 2, we have prepared a series of 3,5-bis-arylphthalonitriles that in turn undergo sterically controlled regioselective cyclotetramization to give previously unknown C4h 1,3,8,10,15,17,22,24-octaarylphthalocyanines.
Tolerant to air sigma-alkane complexes by surface modification of single crystalline solid-state molecular organometallics using vapour-phase cationic polymerisation: SMOM@polymer
(ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY, 2020-04-21)
Vapour-phase surface-initiated cationic polymerisation of ethylvinylether occurs at single-crystals of the σ-alkane complex [Rh(Cy2PCH2CH2PCy2)(NBA)][BArF4]. This new surface interface makes these normally very air sensitive materials tolerant to air, while also allowing for onward single-crystal to single-crystal reactivity at metal sites within the lattice.
Molecular Basis of Sulfosugar Selectivity in Sulfoglycolysis
(AMER CHEMICAL SOC, 2021-03-24)
The sulfosugar sulfoquinovose (SQ) is produced by essentially all photosynthetic organisms on Earth and is metabolized by bacteria through the process of sulfoglycolysis. The sulfoglycolytic Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway metabolizes SQ to produce dihydroxyacetone phosphate and sulfolactaldehyde and is analogous to the classical Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas glycolysis pathway for the metabolism of glucose-6-phosphate, though the former only provides one C3 fragment to central metabolism, with excretion of the other C3 fragment as dihydroxypropanesulfonate. Here, we report a comprehensive structural and biochemical analysis of the three core steps of sulfoglycolysis catalyzed by SQ isomerase, sulfofructose (SF) kinase, and sulfofructose-1-phosphate (SFP) aldolase. Our data show that despite the superficial similarity of this pathway to glycolysis, the sulfoglycolytic enzymes are specific for SQ metabolites and are not catalytically active on related metabolites from glycolytic pathways. This observation is rationalized by three-dimensional structures of each enzyme, which reveal the presence of conserved sulfonate binding pockets. We show that SQ isomerase acts preferentially on the β-anomer of SQ and reversibly produces both SF and sulforhamnose (SR), a previously unknown sugar that acts as a derepressor for the transcriptional repressor CsqR that regulates SQ-utilization. We also demonstrate that SF kinase is a key regulatory enzyme for the pathway that experiences complex modulation by the metabolites SQ, SLA, AMP, ADP, ATP, F6P, FBP, PEP, DHAP, and citrate, and we show that SFP aldolase reversibly synthesizes SFP. This body of work provides fresh insights into the mechanism, specificity, and regulation of sulfoglycolysis and has important implications for understanding how this biochemistry interfaces with central metabolism in prokaryotes to process this major repository of biogeochemical sulfur.
Development and Application of Subtype-Selective Fluorescent Antagonists for the Study of the Human Adenosine A1 Receptor in Living Cells.
(American Chemical Society (ACS), 2021-03-16)
The adenosine A1 receptor (A1AR) is a G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that provides important therapeutic opportunities for a number of conditions including congestive heart failure, tachycardia, and neuropathic pain. The development of A1AR-selective fluorescent ligands will enhance our understanding of the subcellular mechanisms underlying A1AR pharmacology facilitating the development of more efficacious and selective therapies. Herein, we report the design, synthesis, and application of a novel series of A1AR-selective fluorescent probes based on 8-functionalized bicyclo[2.2.2]octylxanthine and 3-functionalized 8-(adamant-1-yl) xanthine scaffolds. These fluorescent conjugates allowed quantification of kinetic and equilibrium ligand binding parameters using NanoBRET and visualization of specific receptor distribution patterns in living cells by confocal imaging and total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy. As such, the novel A1AR-selective fluorescent antagonists described herein can be applied in conjunction with a series of fluorescence-based techniques to foster understanding of A1AR molecular pharmacology and signaling in living cells.
Development, synthesis and biological investigation of a novel class of potent PC-PLC inhibitors
(ELSEVIER FRANCE-EDITIONS SCIENTIFIQUES MEDICALES ELSEVIER, 2020-04-01)
Phospholipases are enzymes that are involved in the hydrolysis of acyl and phosphate esters of phospholipids, generating secondary messengers that have implications in various cellular processes including proliferation, differentiation and motility. As such inhibitors of phospholipases have been widely studied for their use as anti-cancer therapeutics. Phosphatidylcholine-specific phospholipase C (PC-PLC) is implicated in the progression of a number of cancer cell lines including aggressing triple-negative breast cancers. Most current studies on PC-PLC have utilised D609 as the standard inhibitor however it is known to have multiple failings, including poor stability in aqueous media. 2-Morpholinobenzoic acids were recently identified using vHTS as a potential class of lead compounds, with improvements over D609. In this work 129 analogues in this class were prepared and their PC-PLC inhibitory activity was assessed. It was found that the majority of these novel compounds had improved activity when compared to D609 with the most potent inhibitors completely inhibiting enzyme activity. It was determined that the best compound/s contained a morpholino and 2-substituted N-benzyl moieties with these findings explained using molecular modelling. The compounds reported here will allow for improved study of PC-PLC activity.
Discovery of novel phosphatidylcholine-specific phospholipase C drug-like inhibitors as potential anticancer agents
(ELSEVIER FRANCE-EDITIONS SCIENTIFIQUES MEDICALES ELSEVIER, 2020-02-01)
Phosphatidylcholine-specific phospholipase C (PC-PLC) is a promising target for new anticancer treatment. Herein, we report our work in the discovery of novel drug-like PC-PLC inhibitors. Virtual screening led to the identification of promising hits from four different structural series that contain the molecular scaffold of benzenesulphonamides (10), pyrido[3,4-b]indoles (22), morpholinobenzoic acid (84) and benzamidobenzoic acid (80). 164 structural analogues were tested to investigate the chemical space around the hit series and to generate preliminary structurally activity relationships (SAR). Two of the pyrido[3,4-b]indoles (22_10 and 22_15) had comparable or better potency as D609, an established but non-drug-like PC-PLC inhibitor. Furthermore, three morpholinobenzoic acids (84, 84_4 and 84_5) had superior potency than D609. Therefore, this study paves the way towards the development of drug-like PL-PLC inhibitors as potential anticancer agents.
Design of annulene-within-an-annulene systems by the altanisation approach. A study of altan-[n]annulenes
(ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY, 2020-03-14)
The altanisation strategy, devised to design molecules with large and paratropic perimeter circulations, is applied to the family of [n]annulenes to give, altan-[n]annulenes, i.e. [n,5]coronenes. Analytical expressions are obtained for the eigenvalues of the Hückel Hamiltonian for altan-[n]annulenes, and used in conjunction with selection rules derived from the ipsocentric approach to predict patterns of global ring current in these systems. Density-functional calculations performed on seven altan-[n]annulenes, three neutral and four charged, give current-density maps in essential agreement with the predictions obtained at the unperturbed Hückel level. All but one of the systems show patterns with the tropicities expected for isolated annulenes, in line with the altanisation concept. The apparent exception is altan-annulene-, the only singlet system with a well defined open-shell character in the studied set. The key role of open-shell character can be accommodated by appropriate choice of the occupation numbers of the initial Hückel molecular orbitals, where the anion altan-annulene- is considered as an annulene inside the annulene anion.
Reduced Recombination and Capacitor-like Charge Buildup in an Organic Heterojunction
(American Chemical Society, 2020-02-05)
Organic photovoltaic (OPV) efficiencies continue to rise, raising their prospects for solar energy conversion. However, researchers have long considered how to suppress the loss of free carriers by recombination—poor diffusion and significant Coulombic attraction can cause electrons and holes to encounter each other at interfaces close to where they were photogenerated. Using femtosecond transient spectroscopies, we report the nanosecond grow-in of a large transient Stark effect, caused by nanoscale electric fields of ∼487 kV/cm between photogenerated free carriers in the device active layer. We find that particular morphologies of the active layer lead to an energetic cascade for charge carriers, suppressing pathways to recombination, which is ∼2000 times less than predicted by Langevin theory. This in turn leads to the buildup of electric charge in donor and acceptor domains—away from the interface—resistant to bimolecular recombination. Interestingly, this signal is only experimentally obvious in thick films due to the different scaling of electroabsorption and photoinduced absorption signals in transient absorption spectroscopy. Rather than inhibiting device performance, we show that devices up to 600 nm thick maintain efficiencies of >8% because domains can afford much higher carrier densities. These observations suggest that with particular nanoscale morphologies the bulk heterojunction can go beyond its established role in charge photogeneration and can act as a capacitor, where adjacent free charges are held away from the interface and can be protected from bimolecular recombination.