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Department of Chemistry

Tendai Gadzikwa headshot   

Dr. Tendai Gadzikwa

Assistant ProfessorResearch Themes
emailgadzikwa@ksu.eduDesign and Synthesis of Molecules and Supramolecular ArchitecturesFunctional Materials, Catalysis, and Nanochemistry

locationCBC 101
phone785-532-6688 (office)
785-532-6703 (lab)
Lab Website Link



Assistant Professor 
Visiting Researcher, University of Alberta
Senior Lecturer, University of Zimbabwe
Schlumberger Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Amsterdam
Ph.D, Northwestern University
B.A. in Chemistry, Macalester College

Research Overview

Supramolecular chemistry, organometallic catalysis, metal-organic framework materials, & paper-based analytical devices.

The members of the Gadzikwa lab consider ourselves “molecular architects” - we use the tools of Inorganic, Organic, and Materials Chemistry to construct functional materials using molecules as building blocks. Like architects, we design the supramolecular structure, then plan and oversee its construction via the self-assembly of molecular building blocks. Finally, we decorate the interior of our construct such that it best fulfils the purpose for which it was built.

Our particular focus is supramolecular catalysis. A long-standing goal of the field is the construction of catalysts that more accurately mimic enzyme active sites, i.e catalytic sites that are confined, highly functionalized, and flexible. To this end, our group has introduced metal-organic framework (MOF) materials as scaffolds on which we can deliberately organize complex chemical functionality within confined, 3-dimensional space. Our methodology entails the assembly of modifiable organic linkers into sufficiently porous, independently modifiable MOF materials, and their sequential elaboration with additional functionality.

Figure 1

Figure 1. A: The self-assembly of modifiable organic linkers with zinc cations to generate a bifunctionalizable metal-organic framework (MOF) material, KSU-1. B: Schematic representation of the sequential, independent functionalization of KSU-1 to yield a uniformly multifunctional MOF material.

In our NSF-funded research we have developed a strategy to uniformly multifunctionalize MOFs post-synthesis (Figure 1, Link). We have recently extended this work with the use of orthogonal functionalization chemistry which allows us to generate uniformly multifunctional MOFs simultaneously in one pot (Link). Our uniform multifunctionalization strategy depends on our ability to construct mixed-linker frameworks that have large enough channels to accommodate additional functionality. We have recently provided evidence to support the theory that the use of organic linkers that have H-bonding substituents can prevent interpenetration of frameworks. We synthesized a non-catenated, mixed-ligand MOF that, to our knowledge, has the largest pore volume and lowest density of its topology (Scheme 1, Link). 

Scheme 1

Scheme 1. The self-assembly of modifiable organic linkers that have H-bonding substituents to generate a large-pore, low-density, independently functionalizable MOF material, KSU-100.

Selected Publications
  • Samarakoon, K. P.; Yazdanparast M.; Day, V. W.; Gadzikwa, T. "Uniform and Simultaneous Orthogonal Functionalization of a Metal-Organic Framework Material" ChemRxiv  2020. DOI:10.26434/chemrxiv.11482893.v2
  • Yazdanparast M.; Day, V. W.; Gadzikwa, T. "Hydrogen-Bonding Linkers Yield a Large-Pore, Non-Catenated, Metal-Organic Framework with pcu Topology" Molecules 202025, 697. DOI:10.3390/molecules25030697
  • Samarakoon, K. P.; Satterfield, S. C.; McCoy, M. C.; Pivaral-Urbina, D. A.; Islamoglu, T; Day, V. W.; Gadzikwa, T. “Uniform, binary functionalization of a metal-organic framework material,” Inorg. Chem. 2019, 58, 8906-8909. DOI:10.1021/acs.inorgchem.9b00838
  • Gadzikwa, T.; Bellini R.; Dekker, H. L.; Reek, J. N. H.  “Self-assembly of a confined rhodium catalyst for asymmetric hydroformylation of unfunctionalized internal alkenes,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 2860-2863. DOI: 10.1021/ja211455j
  • Gadzikwa, T.; Farha, O. K.; Malliakas, C. D.; Kanatzidis, M. G.; Hupp, J. T.; Nguyen, S. T.  “Selective bifunctional modification of a non-catenated metal-organic framework material via “click” chemistry,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 13613-13615. DOI: 10.1021/ja904189d