分子组装的研究或许长期受到了“自组装”中“自”的观念的限制，而难以构筑多组分、多级次的复杂功能组装体。受生命中复杂组装体系启发，若要实现多组分、多尺度的高效、高选择性组装，很可能需要其他分子、外力或外场的协助。2012年，我们借鉴化学反应中的催化概念，提出可控分子组装的新思路——催组装（中国科学, 2012, 42, 525; Chem. Soc. Rev., 2014, 43, 399）。催组装是利用催组剂在不改变总吉布斯自由能变化的条件下调控组装速率与路径的过程。我们致力于开发催组装新体系，发展表征和理论研究新方法，揭示催组剂的调控机制，建立催组装的普适模型与理论。同时我们将拓展催组装概念的外延，构建多尺度功能组装材料，探索催组装在先进材料制造与生物医学中的应用出口。
The study of molecular assembly may have been long constrained by the concept of "self" in "self-assembly", which makes it difficult to construct a complex functional assembly system with multiple components and hierarchical structures. Inspired by the complex assembly systems of life, the efficient and selective assembly of multiple components at multiple scales is likely to require the assistance of other molecules, external forces or fields. In 2012, we took the concept of catalysis in chemical reactions for reference and proposed a new idea of controllable molecular assembly — catassembly. Catassembly is a process in which catassembler is used to regulate assembly rate and pathway without changing the total Gibbs free energy. We are committed to developing new catassembly systems, developing characterization and theoretical research methods, revealing the regulatory mechanism of catassemblers, and establishing a universal model and theory of catassembly. Our interests extend to the applications of catassembly in advanced materials and biomedicine.
3. Yu Wang, Hai-Xin Lin, Liang Chen, Song-Yuan Ding, Zhi-Chao Lei, De-Yu Liu, Xiao-Yu Cao,* Hao-Jun Liang, Yun-Bao Jiang and Zhong-Qun Tian*, What molecular assembly can learn from catalytic chemistry, 2014, 43, 399-411.
4. Yu Wang, Yibin Sun, Peichen Shi, Matthew M. Sartin, Xujing Lin, Pei Zhang, Hongxun Fang, Pixian Peng, Zhongqun Tian* and Xiaoyu Cao*, Chaperone-like chiral cages for catalyzing enantio-selective supramolecular polymerization, Chemical Science, 2019, 10, 8076-8082.
5. YuWang*, YibinSun, XiaobingDing, JinghongLiang, XiaoyuCao, Zhong-QunTian*, A combined electro- and photo-chemical approach to repeatedly fabricate two-dimensional molecular assemblies, Electrochimica Acta, 2017, 246, 823-829.
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