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Department of Chemistry

Christer Aakeroy


Dr. Christer Aakeröy

University Distinguished Professor Research Area 
emailaakeroy@ksu.edu Chemistry
locationCBC 328  Research Specialities
phone785-532-6096 (office) Materials
785-532-6061 (lab)
Lab Website Link


University Distinguished Professor 
Associate Professor
Assistant Professor
Lecturer in Chemistry, The Queen's University of Belfast, Northern Island
Research Associate, University of Minnesota, MN
Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Sussex, UK
D. Phil., University of Sussex, UK
M. Sc. Uppsala University, Sweden 

Research Overview

Chemistry is the science of communication and change, and these interrelated processes are controlled by reversible interactions between molecules.  Our ability to design and synthesize discrete molecular species has developed for over a century, and today we are capable of making extraordinary molecules that rival some of Nature’s best efforts when it comes to structural complexity and chemical reactivity.  However, the synthesis of supramolecular assemblies composed of many different molecular fragments held together by non-covalent forces, is far less advanced, and our understanding of how groups of molecules communicate, bind, organize, and function, is still incomplete. 

In our group we synthesize new organic molecules as well as coordination complexes using both conventional and mechanochemical synthetic protocols and subsequently we employ non-covalent interactions (such as hydrogen- and halogen bonds) to assemble molecular building blocks into supramolecular architectures with precise dimensions, topologies, and motifs.

Control over the assembly of molecules into extended networks is rapidly becoming an important target in both materials chemistry and biotechnology and through systematic structural studies we then correlate a wide variety of physical properties of the bulk materials with specific features of the individual building blocks.  By translating molecular function into predictable intermolecular recognition we can create versatile pathways for improving processing, performance and shelf-life of a wide range of specialty chemicals such as pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, dyes, non-linear optical and energetic materials.

Research Overview

Selected publications

  1. Aakeröy, C.B.; Wijethunga, T.K. Desper, J., Crystal engineering of energetic materials: Co-crystals of ethylenedinitramine (EDNA), Chem. Eur. J, 2015, DOI:10.1002/chem.201501721.
  2. Aakeröy, C.B., Wijethunga, T.K., Benton, J., Desper, J., Stabilizing volatile liquid chemicals using co-crystallization, ChemComm., 2015, 51, 2425 - 2428.
  3. Aakeröy, C.B; Baldrighi, M,; Desper, J.;Metrangolo, P.; Resnati, G. Supramolecular hierarchy among halogen-bond donors, Chem. Eur. J., 2013, 19, 16240-16247.
  4. Epa, K., Aakeröy, C.B., Desper, J., Rayat, S., Chandra, K., Cruz-Cabeza, A.J., Controlling molecular tautomerism through supramolecular selectivity, ChemComm., 2013, 49, 7929-7931.
  5. Aakeröy, C.B.; Sinha, A.S. Epa, K., Spartz, C.L, Desper, J; A versatile and green mechanochemical route for aldehyde-oxime conversions, ChemCommun, 2012, 48, 11289-11291.
  6. Aakeröy, C.B.; Chopade, P.D.; Desper, J. Avoiding ‘synthon crossover’ in crystal engineering with halogen bonds and hydrogen bonds, Cryst. Growth & Des., 2011, 11, 5333-5336.
  7. Aakeröy, C.B.; Rajbanshi, A.; Desper, J.; Hydrogen-bond driven assembly of a molecular capsule facilitated by supramolecular chelation, ChemCommun, 2011, 47, 11411 – 11413.
  8. Aakeröy, C.B.; Forbes, S., Desper, J., Using Cocrystals To Systematically Modulate Aqueous Solubility and Melting Behavior of an Anticancer Drug, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2009, 131, 17048-17049.
  9. Aakeröy, C.B.; Scott, B.M.T., Smith, M.M., Urbina, J.F., Desper, J., Establishing amide…amide reliability and transferability in the supramolecular assembly of metal-containing 1-D architectures, Inorg. Chem., 2009, 48 4052–4061.
  10. Aakeröy, C.B.; Fasulo, M., Schultheiss, N.; Desper, J.; Moore, C., Structural competition between hydrogen bonds and halogen bonds,J. Am. Chem. Soc.,2007, 129, 13772-13773.
  11. Aakeröy, C.B; Beatty, A.M; Helfrich, B.A.; A High-Yielding Supramolecular Reaction, J. Am. Chem. Soc.; 2002, 124, 14425-14432.
  12. Aakeröy, C.B, Beatty, A.M.; Helfrich, B.A.; ‘Total synthesis’ supramolecular style: Design and hydrogen-bond directed assembly of ternary cocrystals, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 2001, 40, 3240-3242.