The Lewis Group at the University of Birmingham is a synthetic lab, conducting research in various areas of supramolecular chemistry. We are located within the state-of-the-art Molecular Sciences Building on the Edgbaston Campus. Our particular interests include self-assembly, functional mechanically interlocked molecules, and host-guest systems. Our research spans fundamental molecular design to more application-driven investigations.

Mechanically Interlocked Molecules

Mechanically interlocked molecules (MIMs), such as rotaxanes and catenanes, are a fascinating class of molecules currently being investigated for a wide variety of applications. We have an interest in using MIMs as sensors, in drug delivery, and as functional building blocks for metallo-supramolecular constructs.

Self-assembly of a porous metallo-[5]rotaxane
Kevin Kei Gwan Wong, Nadia Hoyas Perez, Andrew J. P. White and James E. M. Lewis
Chem. Commun. 2020, 56, 10453-10456

Rotaxanes as Cages to Control DNA Binding, Cytotoxicity, and Cellular Uptake of a Small Molecule
Timothy Kench, Peter A. Summers, Marina K. Kuimova, James E. M. Lewis and Ramon Vilar
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2021, 60, 10928-10934

Metallosupramolecular Self-Assembly

Through careful design of ligands and judicious choice of metal ions, complex architectures can be made to self-assemble from the mixing of these components. The resultant metallosupramolecular species can be utilised for a range of applications, including as molecular reaction flasks, drug delivery vehicles, sensors, and for storage of reactive reagents. In particular we have an interest in developing structurally complex, functional ligand frameworks that remain capable of high-fidelity self-assembly.

Metallo-Supramolecular Self-Assembly with Reduced-Symmetry Ligands
James E. M. Lewis and James D. Crowley
ChemPlusChem, 2020, 85, 815-827

Conformational Control of Pd2L4 Assemblies with Unsymmetrical Ligands
James E. M. Lewis, Andrew Tarzia, Andrew J. P. White and Kim E. Jelfs
Chem. Sci. 2020, 11, 677-683