Makoto Fujita

39th Paul Karrer Lecture 2019

June 12th, 2019, University of Zurich


Weak interactions induce the spontaneous organization of various biological structures. Such an elegant mechanism in nature has prompted us to design a nd establish self-assembling molecular systems. Thus, we have been showing that well-designed molecules are spontaneously organized into functional mol ecular systems.

1. Self-assembling molecular systems utilizing transition metals: The simple combination of transition metal geometry with well-designed bridging ligands gives rise to the quantitative self-assembly of nano-sized, discrete organic frameworks. Representative examples include square molecules, linked-ring m olecules, cages, capsules, and tubes that are self-assembled from simple and small components.

2. Chemistry of isolated nano-space: The metal-directed self-assembly of nan o-meter sized frameworks gives us an opportunity to develop the chemistry of "isolated nano-space". For example, stabilization of labile molecules, spec ific chemical transformations, and the synthesis of labile molecules have be en achieved within the cavities of the self-assembled cages and capsules.

3. Coordination polymers: The metal-directed self-assembly has been also applied to the preparation of non-covalent polymers with well-defined structures and interesting properties.


1980: B.S. Faculty of Engineering, Chiba University 
1982: M.S. Graduate School of Engineering, Chiba University
1987: Ph.D.Tokyo Institute of Technology
1982-1987: Research Fellow at Sagami Chemical Research Center
1988-1991: Assistant Professor at Faculty of Engineering, Chiba University 
1991-1994: Lecture at the same university
1994-1997: Associate Professor at the same university
1997-1999: Associate Professor at Institute of Molecular Science  
1999-2002: Professor at Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya University
2002-present: Professor at School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo

2012-2013: Visiting Professor at Division of Advanced Materials Science, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)

2018-: Distinguished Professor at Division of Advanced Molecular Science, Institute for Molecular Science (IMS)
2018: Distinguished Emeritus Professor, Chiba University

1997-2013: Project Leader of JST-CREST
2012-2017: Project Leader of Grant-in-Aid for Specially Promoted Research
2014-present: Project Leader of JST ACCEL