Franco King-Chi Leung 梁敬池

  • Innovation Award in 2021 at Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • Fellowship in 2017 at University of Groningen

Franco studied his BSc in Chemistry at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University where he carried out his Masters research in catalysis and chemical biology under supervision of Prof. Man Kin Wong. He expanded his research scopes in his PhD to supramolecular chemistry and material science under guidance of Prof. Takanori Fukushima in Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan). 

In April 2017, he joined Prof. Ben L. Feringa's group (2016 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry) in University of Groningen, the Netherlands, as a postdoc fellow where he is developing photo-responsive soft materials of molecular motors and switches. His main research interests are dynamic supramolecular polymers, functional molecular assembly, and biocompatible functional materials. In June 2019, he appointed as Assistant Professor in Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, PolyU.

Since starting in PolyU, Dr. Leung’s research programmes are designed and orientated to exploit the full intrinsic potential of synthetic organic chemistry to build new supramolecular structures, functions and hierarchical systems. As inspired by nature’s structural beauty and sophisticated functional processes, our major goal is to design novel supramolecular functional systems, across length-scale, into stimuli-responsive functional soft materials with focus on following two major areas: (I) Life-like Supramolecular Soft Actuators This research program aims to develop highly dynamic, reversible, and biocompatible supramolecular soft actuators, which is complementary to existing polymeric soft actuators. (II) Controlled Supramolecular Transformations of Hierarchical Systems This research program is designed to control reversibly transformations of supramolecular assembly and organizations at different hierarchical levels, in supramolecular soft materials and self-assembled two-dimensional structures on various substrate surfaces.

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Selected Publications:

L.-H. Cheung, T. Kajitani, F. K.-C. Leung*. Visible-Light Controlled Supramolecular Transformations of Donor-Acceptor Stenhouse Adducts Amphiphiles at Multiple Length-Scale. J. Colloid Interface Sci. 2022, 628, 984–993 (DOI).

S. Chen, L. Yang, F. K.-C. Leung,* T. Kajitani, M. C. A. Stuart, T. Fukushima, P. van Rijn,* B. L. Feringa*. Photoactuating Artificial Muscle of Motor Amphiphiles as Extracellular Matrix Mimetic Scaffold for Mesenchymal Stem Cells. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2022, 144, 3543–3553 (DOI).

S. Chen, R. Costil, F. K.-C. Leung,* B. L. Feringa*. Self-Assembly of Photoresponsive Molecular Amphiphiles in Aqueous Media. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2021, 60, 11604–11627 (DOI).

S. Chen, F. K.-C. Leung,* M. C. A. Stuart, C. Wang,* B. L. Feringa*. Dynamic Assemblies of Molecular Motor Amphiphiles Control Macroscopic Foam Properties. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2020, 142, 10163–10172 (DOI).

F. K.-C. Leung,* T. Kajitani, M. C. A. Stuart, T. Fukushima, B. L. Feringa*. Dual-Controlled Macroscopic Motions in A Supramolecular Hierarchical Assembly of Motor Amphiphiles. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58, 10985–10989 (DOI); Angew. Chem. 2019, 131, 11101 –11105 (DOI), and selected as Hot Paper.

J. Chen†, F. K.-C. Leung†, M. C. A. Stuart, T. Kajitani, T. Fukushima, E. van der Giessen, B. L. Feringa*. Artificial Muscle-Like Function from Hierarchical Supramolecular Assembly of Photoresponsive Molecular Motors. Nature Chemistry 2018, 10(2), 132–138 (DOI). († Equal Contribution); highlighted in Chemical and Engineering News “Molecular motors made into muscles” (Page).

F. K.-C. Leung, T. van den Enk, T. Kajitani, J. Chen, M. C. A. Stuart, J. Kuipers, T. Fukushima, B. L. Feringa*. Supramolecular Packing and Macroscopic Alignment Controls Actuation Speed in Macroscopic Strings of Molecular Motor Amphiphiles. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018140, 17724–17733 (DOI).

F. K.-C. Leung, F. Ishiwari, T. Kajitani, Y. Shoji, T. Hikima, M. Takata, A. Saeki, S. Seki, Y. M. A. Yamada, T. Fukushima*. Supramolecular Scaffold for Tailoring the Two-Dimensional Assembly of Functional Molecular Units into Organic Thin Films. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 11727–11733 (DOI).