PhD student Kwan Chak-shing from the Department of Chemistry won the second runner-up award with his presentation entitled “Design and Synthesis of Rotaxane Dual Organocatalyst and Derivatives” at the 24th Symposium of Chemistry Postgraduate Research held in May in Hong Kong.
Chak-shing combined the concepts of the molecular machine and organic catalysts to generate specialty rotaxane dual catalysts with a fluorescence tag. Upon the addition of acid/base, the two catalysts can be reversibly “switched on and off” to synthesise the desired product exclusively from a mixture of starting materials.
Under the supervision of Dr Ken Leung, Associate Professor of the Department of Chemistry, Chak-shing’s project highlighted the novel study of the mechanically interlocked molecule for organocatalysis.
The symposium was attended by over 600 faculty members and research postgraduate students from six local universities.