Texas Tech University

Dr. Michael F. Mayer

Title: Associate Professor


Education: Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2000; Postdoctoral Study, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001-04


Research Area: Organic Chemistry

Office: Chemistry 223-C

Phone: 806-834-3689

Email: mf.mayer@ttu.edu

Research Group

YouTube Organic Chemistry Channel

Principal Research Interests

  • Synthetic Methodology
  • Self-Assembly
  • Macromolecular/Nanoscale Chemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Supramolecular Chemistry
  • Polymers

The Mayer Group is working in the area of design, preparation and application of nanoscale structures that feature construction by means of persistent mutual entanglement of smaller molecular-scale structures. Examples of simple durable structures that are maintained through persistent entanglements include the classes of compounds known as rotaxanes and catenanes, where [n] = number of interlocked components.

Compounds that consist of many persistently entangled individual structures are also of interest since the properties of these assemblies can be tuned through variation of the proportion of the entangled component species. Examples of persistently entangled polymeric assemblies include polyrotaxanes, polycatenanes and daisy-chain polymers.

Recently, the Mayer group developed a new approach to a stable entangled assembly that is composed of a molecular chain that was threaded through numerous molecular rings by a process known as an entropy-driven ring-opening olefin metathesis polymerization (ED-ROMP).

The Mayer group also recently designed and prepared a shape-dynamic molecular structure, or more specifically, a structure that was capable of sampling both self-entangled and disentangled states. The structure was designed such that it was biased to favor a disentangled state, which was approximately 50% longer than the self-entangled state. The compound was further designed such that it featured recognition sites for certain ions; when these ions were introduced, they bound the recognition sites along the ring and chain, thus tightly pulling the sites together and retaining the structure in an exclusively self-entangled state. Removal of the ions, which essentially served as linchpins, allowed the structure to re-gain its extended state and complete a chemically-induced actuation cycle, thus providing proof-of-principle of a novel nanoscale mechanical switch.

Representative Publications

  • "Synthesis of Metalated Pseudorotaxane Polymers with Full Control over the Average Linear Density of Threaded Macrocycles." Kang, S.; Cetin, M. M.; Jiang, R.; Clevenger, E. S.; Mayer, M. F. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 12588-12591.
  • "Actuator Prototype: Capture and Release of a Self-Entangled [1]Rotaxane." Xue, Z.; Mayer, M. F. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 3274-3276.
  • "Entropy-Driven Ring-Opening Olefin Metathesis Polymerizations of Macrocycles." Xue, Z.; Mayer, M. F. Soft Matter 2009, 5, 4600-4611.
  • "Tetrahydroquinoline Syntheses Induced with Catalytic Amounts of Viologen Additives." Xue, Z.; Samanta, A.; Whittlesey, B. R.; Mayer, M. F. Tetrahedron Lett. 2009, 50, 6064-6067.
  • "Polypseudorotaxanes via Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerizations of [2]Catenanes." Kang, S.; Berkshire, B. M.; Xue, Z.; Gupta, M.; Layode, C.; May, P. A.; Mayer, M. F. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 15246-15247.
  • "Aziridine Synthesis in the Presence of Catalytic Amounts of Pyridiniums or Viologens." Xue, Z.; Mazumdar, A.; Hope-Weeks, L. J.; Mayer, M. F. Tetrahedron Lett. 2008, 49, 4601-4603.
  • "A Double Ring-Closing Olefin Metathesis Approach to [3]Catenanes." Gupta, M.; Kang, S.; Mayer, M. F. Tetrahedron Lett. 2008, 49, 2946-2950.


Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry