Anna Vogt


PhD Student


HCI G-314


+41-44-632 4474


Anna Gehrig



Study of chemistry at LMU München


Internship at EPFL (Lausanne) with Prof. K. Severin


Diploma thesis with Prof. P. Knochel at LMU München

since 2004:

PhD with Prof. F. Diederich at ETH Zürich

Cleft-Type Receptors as Molecular Scale Devices

What if highly interesting events take place but you will not be able to investigate – because the actors are too small to be observed? And there is nobody to tell you about either? That’s why ten years ago A. W. Czarnik stated to be „desperately seeking sensors” for biology, chemistry, or materials science investigations. There were a lot of biologically active small molecules for which detectors, e.g. fluorescent sensors, would be desirable: neurotransmitters (NO), ATP, amino acids, nucleosides, nucleotides, carbohydrates, coenzymes, inorganic phosphate, and catecholamines… Just the easiest way by far would be a device that combined both the interaction „platform“ and the sensing system. In general, chemical sensors require transducing a binding event into an easily quantitated signal event. Although it is possible to use absorption or electrical changes as the signal, fluorescent signaling offers real advantages. Because fluorescence emission occurs at a different wavelength than excitation, the background signal can be made very low and the sensitivity thus very high.

By modification of Kemp`s triacid, Rebek and co-workers developed a variety of powerful achiral and chiral molecular clefts for the recognition of small H-bonding molecules and metal ions. In her PhD thesis Raffaella Faraoni has already studied Rebek imide-type molecular clefts with pi-stacking platforms attached to the imide scaffold by an acetylene linker. Such a spacer allows free rotation of the platform to adopt the best possible geometry for interactions with bound guest molecules. Furthermore, the absence of H-bonding sites in the linker enables a more precise determination of the energetic contributions of imide recognition and pi-stacking.

last update: Nov. 2005


N. Gommermann, A. Gehrig, P. Knochel, Synlett 2005, 18, 2796-2798. Enantioselective Synthesis of Chiral α-Aminoalkyl-1,2,3-triazoles Using a Three-Component Reaction.