We use organic supramolecular chemistry to construct new mechanically interlocked molecules, macrocycles and cages. 


The concept of molecular self-assembly plays a pivotal role in supramolecular chemistry. The use of multiple non-covalent interactions, including hydrogen bonding, metal coordination, hydrophobic effect, van der Waals interactions, and π-stacking, allows the organisation of simple building blocks into intricate architectures. Molecular self-assembly enables the construction of complex molecular structures, including those characterised by non-trivial topologies, such as links and knots. 

In the Szyszko Lab, we particularly enjoy using the iminopyrrole motifs to construct intricate supramolecular architectures.

Relevant reading: Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2023, e202316489, Chem. Eur. J. 2023, e202203850.

Rotaxanes and molecular machines

Rotaxanes are a type of mechanically interlocked molecular architecture composed of a linear molecular thread that passes through a macrocyclic ring. The key characteristic of a rotaxane is that the ring cannot freely leave the macrocycle due to the bulkiness of the stoppers at both ends of the thread. The design and construction of rotaxanes have applications in molecular machines, nanotechnology, and materials science. 

We are interested in searching for new motifs for use in the active-template synthesis of rotaxanes as well as in the construction of novel rotaxanes with interesting properties. We also investigate the use of rotaxanes for the construction of molecular machines.  

Relevant reading: Chem. Commun. 2023, 59, 7579.

Macrocyclic receptors and ligands

We are dedicated to the construction of macrocycles acting as molecular receptors and ligands for cations, anions and neutral molecules.
The Group speciality is pyrrole chemistry, and thus, our macrocycles often resemble porphyrinoids, although they significantly differ in their properties from the regular porphyrin macrocycle. We enjoy creating macrocyclic molecules which, at first glance, belong to different worlds.
Our recent contribution involved creating crownphyrins combining structural elements of tetrapyrrole macrocycles and crown ethers. 

Relevant reading: Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2022, 61, e202211671, Beilstein J. Org. Chem. 2023, 19, 1630.

Aceneporphyrinoids and expanded carbaporphyrinoids

In the pre-habilitation era, Bartosz carried out studies focusing on the development of various carbaporphyrinoids, namely porphyrin analogues incorporating carbon atoms within their macrocyclic cavity. His work in the Latos-Grażyński group provided a number of new acene-porphyrin hybrid macrocycles, including naphthiporphyrins, anthriporphyrins, and phenanthriporphyrins. Bartosz has also significantly contributed to 21-carbaporphyrin chemistry, discovering the palladium(II)-mediated p-benziporphyrin contraction and developing several expanded carbaporphyrinoids acting as molecular switches, anion receptors and intriguing macrocyclic ligands.

Relevant reading: Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, 59, 20137, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, 59, 16874, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 6060, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 4932, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2011, 50, 6587