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Diamondoid scaffolds containing heteroatoms – preparation and application in development of advanced materials

Principal investigator

Projekti Hrvatske zaklade za znanost
Finance value
Start date
Sep 1st 2018
End date
Aug 31st 2023
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Development of new materials is an important key topic in chemistry and cutting edge research is devoted to discover, improve and apply them in future technologies. Currently special focus is placed on carbon-based materials, with diamond being a highly attractive scaffold. Despite its numerous excellent properties, diamond is still difficult to control in terms of selective functionalization and material uniformity. An alternative to bulk diamond are diamondoids, organic cage compounds that have a diamond-like structure but can be selectively substituted, thereby bridging the gap between flexible organic molecules and bulk diamond.

Chemistry of diamondoids saw a breakthrough in the last two decades but there are still opportunities for further development. Our goal is to prepare and characterize unexplored diamondoid derivatives and apply them in materials design. Target compounds will be diamondoid scaffolds selectively functionalized with heteroatoms bound on the cage itself as well as derivatives with spacers, including ethers, thioethers, amines (secondary and higher), esters, etc. To achieve this, we will go beyond the state-of-the-art and develop new strategies for their selective functionalization and polyfunctionalization, since precise diamondoid substitution enables properties control. The next step will be tailoring of properties by introduction of secondary motifs/functionalities on the prepared diamondoid scaffolds, with a goal to pave the way for future application in coatings and advanced surfaces. Experimental studies will be complemented by computational methods to gain more insight into the physico-chemical nature of both the molecules and the materials they will form. The proposed research will therefore deepen the fundamental knowledge of structure-properties relationship in the design of new candidates for advanced materials, with a focus on highly promising carbon-based organic scaffolds.


10. M. Šekutor, Young women researchers in STEM: the present and outlook for the future, Gender 4 STEM conference – Gender aware education and teaching, Ruđer Bošković Institute, February 6, 2020, Zagreb, Croatia. => lecture

9. M. Šekutor, N. Burić, J. Alić, Chemistry and application of diamondoid derivatives, 15th EYCN Delegate Assembly, January 26–29, 2020, Sitges, Spain, P9. => poster

8. M. Šekutor, Young scientists in the next decade: education and chances, Roundtable II, Science and educational challenges facing Europe in the next decade, Humboldt College Zagreb, October 10–11, 2019, Zagreb, Croatia. => round table

7. J. Alić, N. Burić, M. Šekutor, Diamondoids in supramolecular chemistry and nanotechnology, Science and educational challenges facing Europe in the next decade, Humboldt College Zagreb, October 10–11, 2019, Zagreb, Croatia, 24. => poster

6. M. Šekutor, Application of Adamantyl Aminoguanidines in Functional Self-assembled Nanovesicles, 17th European Symposium on Organic Reactivity (ESOR 2019), September 8–13, 2019, Dubrovnik, Croatia, OP-14. => lecture

5. M. Šekutor, Diamondoids as scaffolds in supramolecular chemistry and nanomaterials, 1st Joint Croatian - Chinese Mini Symposium on Chemistry, Institut Ruđer Bošković, September 3, 2019, Zagreb, Croatia. => lecture

4. M. Šekutor, The Role of London Dispersion in Structural Organization of Polycyclic Cage Compounds, Young Investigator Workshop 2019 EuChemS, July 11–13, 2019, Vienna, Austria. => lecture

3. M. Šekutor, Potential Bioapplication of Adamantyl Aminoguanidines, Scientific Seminar at Fidelta d.o.o., May 20, 2019, Zagreb, Croatia. => lecture

2. M. Šekutor, Configuration and reactivity of diamondoids on a Cu(111) surface, Computational Chemistry Day 2019, May 11, 2019, Zagreb, Croatia, L2. => lecture

1. M. Šekutor, On-surface Orientation and Reactivity of Diamondoid Compounds, 26th Croatian Meeting of Chemists and Chemical Engineers and the 4th "Vladimir Prelog" Symposium, April 9–12, 2019, Šibenik, Croatia, 22. => lecture


dr. sc. Marija Alešković

dr. sc. Margareta Sohora

Nataša Burić, dipl. ing.


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