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Ognjen Miljanic


Ognjen Miljanic
Associate Professor
Postdoc University of California, Los Angeles, 2005-2008
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2005
Diploma University of Belgrade, Serbia, 2000

Department of Chemistry
University of Houston
Houston, Texas 77204-5003

Office: 5028 - SERC
Phone: 832.842.8827

Synthetic and Supramolecular Chemistry

Nanospace Engineering through the Assembly of Nucleobases

Supramolecular interactions play a pivotal role in many biomolecules, often dictating both structure and function. The hydrogen bonding of nucleobases in DNA represents one of the most thoroughly understood naturally-occuring supramolecular motives. This ubiquitous building block will be used to construct unnatural discrete and extended (2D and 3D) superstructures through self-assembly. The former will be investigated as platforms for guest encapsulation and homogeneous catalysis; the latter, as materials for energy storage and chiral separations. Second generation of these materials will be endowed with switchable properties (polarity, pore size, chemical affinity).

figure 1

Novel Metallocenic Scaffolds for Catalysis and Sensing

Previously unreported metallocenic scaffolds will be targeted, starting both from known and from yet undiscovered metallocene intermediates. These molecules will be used as (1) ligands for asymmetric catalysis; (2) precursors to heterogeneous size- and shape-selective catalysts, and (3) selective sensors for electron-rich small molecules.

figure 2

The Miljanić lab relies on supramolecular and synthetic chemistry as its key tools. Synthesis is used in the broad sense of the word, encompassing organic, coordinative inorganic, and organometallic preparations. Spectroscopy, crystallography, and materials characterization are the most relevant analytical tools. Students and postdoctoral researchers in the Miljanić group receive detailed guidance in scientific writing and visualization. This diversified training is intended to prepare them for challenges in both academic and a variety of industrial work environments.