James A. Wisner


Contact Information

Title: Associate Professor
Office: Rm 215 ChB
Lab: 3230 MSA
Phone (Office): ext 86864
E-mail: jwisner@uwo.ca

Organic Teaching Division

Synthesis, Catalysis and Molecular Materials

Organic Supramolecular Chemistry Self-Assembly, Templation and Mechanically Bonded Molecules

Group Website


NSERC PDF (Oxford University) 2000-2002; Ph.D. (University of Windsor) 1999; B.Sc. (University of Waterloo) 1994


The spontaneous organization of molecules into stable aggregates through non-covalent interactions, termed self-assembly, is used throughout nature to construct a tremendous variety of materials and chemical behaviour. My research interests revolve around the creation and study of supramolecular recognition and templation regimes and their use in the synthesis of higher order architectures with unique properties. This includes the study of interlocked structures which involve mechanical bonds (termed rotaxanes, catenanes, and knots) a type of bonding peculiar to supramolecular chemistry. Such compounds have great potential in nanotechnological applications such as sensing, devices, switches and molecular machines. New projects involve the synthesis of hydrogen bonded duplexes and the study of anion/cation templation.

My Research Group Homepage


  • 2223b - Organic Chemistry of Biological Molecules
  • 3373f - Organic Chemistry III: Reactions and Strategies for Synthesis
  • 4483a - Elucidation of Organic and Bioorganic Mechanisms
  • 9503s - Advanced NMR Spectroscopy I
  • 9523t - Introduction to Supramolecular Chemistry
  • 9523t - Supramolecular Chemistry
  • 9553a - Mechanistic Organic Chemistry
  • 9603r - Advanced NMR Spectroscopy II


  • Sambrook, M. R.; Beer, P. D.; Lankshear, M. D.; Ludlow, R. F.; Wisner, J. A. “Anion-templated Assembly of [2]Rotaxanes” Org. & Biomol. Chem. (in press).

  • Loeb, S. J.; Tiburcio, J.; Vella, S. J.; Wisner, J. A. “A Versatile Template for the Formation of [2]Pseudorotaxanes. 1,2-Bis(pyridinium)ethane Axles and 24-Crown-8 Ether Wheels” Org. & Biomol. Chem. 2006, 4, 667-680.

  • Blight, B. A.; Van Noortwyk, K. A.; Wisner, J. A.; Jennings, M. C. “[2]Pseudorotaxanes Through Second-Sphere Coordination” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 2005, 44, 1499-1504.

  • Sambrook, M. R.; Beer, P. D.; Wisner, J. A.; Paul, R. L.; Cowley, A. R.; Szemes, F.; Drew, M. G. B. “Anion-Templated Assembly of Pseudorotaxanes: Importance of Anion Template, Strength of Ion-Pair Thread Association, and Macrocycle Ring Size” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2005, 127, 2292-2302.

  • Sambrook, M. R.; Beer, P. D.; Wisner, J. A.; Paul, R. L.; Cowley, A. R. “Anion-Templated Assembly of a [2]Catenane” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2004, 126, 15364-15365.