Research and Teaching Interests
Supramolecular Chemistry, Materials Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry
Follow us on Twitter: @MacLachlanUBC
We develop new organic and inorganic molecules and materials with interesting properties that may find applications in electronics, photonics, catalysis, and other areas. We make the materials, characterize them, and study their properties, often in collaborations. We develop diverse materials - solid-state structures, polymers, gels, glasses, liquid crystals, etc. - to address interesting scientific and engineering problems. Some of our projects are aimed a combating environmental problems or improving alternative energy applications, such as solar energy conversion and hydrogen fuel cells.
Students make new molecules and materials, and study them by a large variety of techniques – electron microscopy, thermal analysis, NMR spectroscopy, IR / Raman spectroscopy, UV-vis / fluorescence spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, light scattering, X-ray crystallography, gas adsorption, calorimetry, polarizing optical microscopy, circular dichroism spectroscopy, electrochemistry, etc. We are also part of an innovative training program in nanomaterials at UBC, NanoMat.
Below are examples of projects in progress or recently completed:
1. Mesoporous materials. We are creating new mesoporous materials for applications in optics, supercapacitor electrodes, and catalysis.
2. Supramolecular chemistry with macrocycles. We are working on the synthesis and self-assembly of new macrocycles, such as the macrocycles shown below:
3. Molecules with interesting shapes and properties.
4. Self-assembled structures, including gels.
Recent Sample Publications (for up-to-date list, see Research Group):
- Zhang, D.; Soto, M. A.; Lewis, L.; Hamad, W. Y.; MacLachlan, M. J.; 'Host–Guest Chemistry Within Cellulose Nanocrystal Gel Receptors' Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, in press.
- Boott, C. E.; Tran, A.; Hamad, W. Y.; MacLachlan, M. J.; 'Cellulose Nanocrystal Elastomers with Reversible Visible Color' Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, 59, 226-231.
- Cao, Y.; Lewis, L.; Hamad, W. Y.; MacLachlan, M. J.; 'Pressure-Responsive Hierarchical Chiral Photonic Aerogels' Adv. Mater. 2019, 31, 1808186.
- Soto, M. A.; MacLachlan, M. J.; 'Disabling Molecular Recognition through Reversible Mechanical Stoppering' Org. Lett., 2019, 21, 1744-1748.
- Soto, M. A.; Lelj, F.; MacLachlan, M. J.; 'Programming permanent and transient molecular protection via mechanical stoppering' Chem. Sci. 2019, 10, 10422-10427 .
- Dai, Y.; Kumar, V. P.; Zhu, C.; Wang, H.; Smith, K. J.; Wolf, M. O.; MacLachlan, M. J.; 'Bowtie-shaped NiCo2O4 Catalysts for Low-Termpature Methane Combustion' Adv. Funct. Mater. 2019, 29, 1807519.
- Wang, P.-X.; Hamad, W. Y.; MacLachlan, M. J.; 'Liquid Crystalline Tactoidal Microphases in Ferrofluids: Spatial Positioning and Orientation by Magnetic Field Gradients' Chem 2019, 5, 681-692.
- Kose, O.; Tran, A.; Lewis, L.; Hamad, W. Y.; MacLachlan, M. J.; 'Unwinding a Spiral of Cellulose Nanocrystals for Stimuli-Responsive Stretchable Optics' Nature Commun. 2019, 10, 510.
If you are interested in joining our team, please visit our homepage and contact Dr. MacLachlan for more information.
- 2016-present Associate Dean of Research & Graduate Studies (Faculty of Science)
- 2014-present Director, NanoMat
- 2011-present Professor, University of British Columbia
- 2007-2011 Associate Professor, University of British Columbia
- 2001-2007 Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia
- 1999-2001 NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow (at MIT with Prof. Tim Swager)
- 1995-1999 Ph.D. (Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Toronto with Profs. Ian Manners and Geoff Ozin)
- Thesis: New Directions in Inorganic Polymer and Materials Chemistry: Studies of Metal Germanium Sulfides, Ferrocene-Containing Materials, and Mesoporous Silica - Poly(Ferrocenylsilane) Composites
- 1991-1995 B. Sc. (Honours Chemistry, UBC)
- 2016 Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK)
- 2016 Award for Research Excellence in Materials Chemistry (Canadian Society for Chemistry)
- 2015-2022 Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Supramolecular Materials
- 2014 Steacie Prize for Natural Sciences (E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fund)
- 2014 Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (FRSC)
- 2013 Rutherford Memorial Medal (Royal Society of Canada)
- 2013 Killam Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Mentorship (UBC)
- 2013 Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Invitational Fellowship (NIMS, Japan)
- 2013 Strem Award for Pure or Applied Inorganic Chemistry (Canadian Society for Chemistry)
- 2012-14 E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship (NSERC)
- 2011 Killam Research Prize (UBC)
- 2009-10 Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (RWTH Aachen, Germany)
- 2008 Killam Prize for Excellence in Teaching (UBC)
- 2005 Killam Teaching Achievement Award (UBC)
- 2000 NSERC Doctoral Prize