Zhichang LIU, Ph.D.

Laboratory of Supramolecular Organic Functional Assemblies (SOFA LAB)


Email: liu@westlake.edu.cn

Website: https://liu.westlake.edu.cn

zhichang liu westlake university
zhichang liu westlake university

Zhichang LIU, Ph.D.

Laboratory of Supramolecular Organic Functional Assemblies (SOFA LAB)


Email: liu@westlake.edu.cn

Website: https://liu.westlake.edu.cn

“The establishment of Westlake University has created many firsts in China's higher education. Through our continuous efforts, Westlake University will certainly be ranked among the best in the world.”


He received his PhD in polymer chemistry in 2010 with Professor Tien-Yau Luh from Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, CAS. During the period from 2010 to 2018, he pursued research in Sir Fraser Stoddart’s group at Northwestern University as a Postdoctoral Fellow. In September 2018, he joined Westlake University as the first faculty in chemistry to start his independent academic career. To date, he has published 69 high profile scientific papers and been an inventor of 10 patents. For his research into the isolation of gold, he was the co-recipient of two prestigious Awards―the North America Chemical Engineering Project of the Year Award and the Highly Commended in Sustainable Technology Award for Innovation & Excellence―from the Institution of Chemical Engineers. Dr Liu is also the co-founder of a startup company—named Cycladex—which is focused on gold purification.


His current research interests focus on the development of Molecular-Strain Engineering (MSE) and Supramolecular Organic Functional Assemblies (SOFA). MSE implies using strain to impose intramolecular tension on molecules, which, owing to their precisely tunable strained conformations, can exhibit enhanced performance in certain situations, such as the control of assembly processes, modulation of their own properties, and manipulation of reaction progress and selectivities. Projects in the Liu’s SOFA Lab involve (i) molecular-strain engineering of multi-walled Platonic solids, (ii) mechanical trapping of active intermediates employing molecular-strain engineering, and (iii) strain-modulated emergent properties of supramolecular assemblies as well as topological knots and links. Current application areas of interest include precisely-controllable and functional assembly of macrocycles, stimuli-responsive materials for eco-friendly settings, supramolecular catalysis, and energy conversion.”

Selected Publications(*: Corresponding author, #: Contributed equally)

20. Wu, L.; Tang, M.; Jiang, L.; Chen, Y.; Bian, L.; Liu, J.; Wang, S.; Liang, Y.; Liu, Z.*Synthesis of contra-helical trefoil knots with mechanically tuneable spin-crossover properties.

Nature Synth. 2023, 1, 17–25. (Cover, Highlighted in Chem, Sci. China Chem., and China Youth Daily, Featured in the Collection of One Year of Nature Synthesis)

19. Bian, L.; Tang, M.; Liu, J.; Liang, Y.; Wu, L.; Liu, Z.*Luminescent chiral triangular prisms capable of forming double helices for detecting traces of acids and anion recognition.

J. Mater. Chem. C 2022, 10, 15394–15399. (Featured in collections of 2022 Journal of Materials Chemistry C most popular articles and 2023 Journal of Materials Chemistry C Lunar New Year collection)

18. Wang, S.; Tang, M.; Wu, L.; Bian, L.; Jiang, L.; Liu, J.; Tang, Z.-B.; Liang, Y.; Liu, Z.*Linear nonalternant isomers of acenes fusing multiple azulene units.

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2022, 61, e202205658. (Hot Paper, Highlighted in Synfacts and Chinese J. Org. Chem.)

17. Bian, L.;# Liang, Y.;# Liu, Z.*Tetraphenylethylene-incorporated macrocycles and nanocages: Construction and applications.

ACS Appl. Nano Mater. 2022, 5, 13940–13958.

16. Tang, M.; Liang, Y.; Liu, J.; Wu, L.; Wang, S.; Bian, L.; Jiang, L.; Tang, Z.-B.; Liu, Z.*  Mechanical trapping and in situ derivatization of the porpodimethene intermediate” Mater. Today Chem.2022, 24, 100868.

15. Tang, M.; Liang, Y.; Liu, J.; Bian, L.; Liu, Z.*  Mechanical trapping of the phlorin intermediateCCSChem.2022, 4, 3230–3237.

14. Tang, M.; Liang, Y.; Lu, X.; Miao, X.; Jiang, L.; Liu, J.; Bian, L.; Wang, S.; Wu, L.; Liu, Z.*“Molecular-strain engineering of double-walled tetrahedra” Chem2021, 7, 2160–2174. (Highlighted in Nature Chemistry, Selected as 10 Editors’ Choice Papers of Chem in China in 2021)

13. Liang, Y.;# Tang, M.;#Liu, Z.*  “Molecular bows¾strained bow-shaped macrocyclesChem. Lett. 2020, 49, 1329–1336. (Inside Cover, Invited Highlight Review).

12. Lin, R.-L.; Dong, Y.-P.; Tang, M.; Liu, Z.*; Tao, Z.;* Liu, J.-X.* “Selective Recovery and Detection of Gold with Cucurbit[n = 5–7]urilsInorg. Chem. 2020, 59, 3850–3855.

11. Wu, L.; Chen, Y.; Pei, J.; Tang, M.; Wang, S.; Liu, Z.*“Tetrahedron” Chin. J. Chem. 2019, 37, 834–842.

10. Guo, Q.-H.; Liu, Z.; Li, P.; Shen, D.; Xu, Y.; Ryder, M. R.; Chen, H.; Stern, C. L.; Malliakas, C. D.; Zhang, L.; Qiu, Y.; Shi, Y.; Snurr, R. Q.; Philp, D.; Farha, O. K.; Stoddart, J. F.* “A hierarchical nanoporous diamondoid superstructureChem 2019, 5, 2353–2364.

9.Liu, Z.*; Frasconi, M.; Liu, W-G; Zhang, Y.; Dyar, S. M.; Shen, D.; Sarjeant, A. A.; Goddard, W. A., III; Wasielewski, M. R.; Stoddart, J. F.* “Mixed-valence superstructure assembled from a mixed-valence host-guest complex”J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140,9387–9391.

8.Liu, Z.; Frasconi, M.; Lei, J.; Brown, Z. J.; Zhu, Z.; Cao, D.; Iehl, J.; Liu, G.; Fahrenbach, A. C.; Botros, Y. Y.; Farha, O. K.; Hupp, J. T.; Mirkin, C. A.; Stoddart, J. F.* “Selective isolation of gold facilitated by second-sphere coordination with α-cyclodextrin” Nat. Commun.2013, 4,1855.

(Altmetric Score 143; Highlighted in > 700 news outlets including C&E News, Chemistry World, Nature Asia, Nature Middle East, BBC, Popular Science, Agence France-Presse, Science Daily, Huffington Post, and 参考消息; > 67,000 Page Views)

7.  Liu, Z.; Nalluri, S. K. M.; Stoddart, J. F.* “Surveying macrocyclic chemistry: From flexible crown ethers to rigid cyclophanes”Chem. Soc. Rev. 2017, 46, 2459–2478. (Insider Front Cover)

6.Sun, J.#; Liu, Z.*,#; Liu, W-G; Wu, Y.; Wang, Y.; Barnes, J. C.; Hermann, K. R.; Wasielewski, M. R.; Goddard, W. A., III; Stoddart, J. F.* “Mechanical bond-protected air-stable radicals” J. Am. Chem. Soc.2017, 139, 12704–12709. (Highlighted in Chemistry World)

5.Liu, Z.; Samanta, A.; Lei, J.; Sun, J.; Wang, Y.; Stoddart, J. F.* “Cation-dependent gold recovery with α-cyclodextrin facilitated by second-sphere coordination” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 11643–11653. (ACS Editors' Choice)

4.Liu, Z.; Sun, J.; Zhou, Y.; Zhang, Y.; Wu, Y.; Nalluri, S. K. M.; Wang, Y.; Samanta, A.; Mirkin, C. A.; Schatz, G. C.; Stoddart, J. F.* “Supramolecular gelation of rigid triangular macrocycles through rings of multiple C–H∙∙∙O interactions acting cooperatively” J. Org. Chem.2016, 81, 2581–2588.

3.Samanta, A.#; Liu, Z.#; Nalluri, S. K. M.; Zhang, Y.; Schatz, G. C.; Stoddart, J. F.* “Supramolecular double helix formation by diastereoisomeric conformations of configurationally enantiomeric macrocycles” J. Am. Chem. Soc.2016, 138, 14469–14480.

2.Liu, Z.; Liu, G.; Wu, Y.; Cao, D.; Sun, J.; Schneebeli, S. T.; Mirkin, C. A.; Stoddart, J. F.* “Assembly of supramolecular nanotubes from molecular triangles and 1,2-dihalohydrocarbons”J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 16651–16660.

1.Liu, Z.;# Lei, J.;# Frasconi, M.; Li, X.; Cao, D.; Zhu, Z.; Schneebeli, S. T.; Schatz, G. C.; Stoddart, J. F.* “A squareplanar tetracoordinate oxygen-containing Ti4O17 cluster stabilized by two 1,1′-ferrocenedicarboxylato ligands” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.2014, 53, 9193−9197.