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Welcome to the Durham Supramolecular Chemistry Group page. This page gives an informal and topical look at the research work going in the Supramolecular Chemistry group at Durham headed by Professor Jonathan Steed. For a general description of the group’s research interests click research. Prospective M.Chem. and Ph.D. Students should consult the Projects and Funding page. Information about our books on supramolecular chemistry and nanochemistry, publications, group members and group leader Jonathan Steed is available via the links above. Opportunities for Postdoctoral research in the group depend on the availability of funding and vacant positions are advertised on Unfortunately we cannot respond to unsolicited applications unless applicants are seeking support for their own Fellowship funding.

The group is part of the Polymorphism @ Durham Research grouping.

Group News

  • February 2024 – A fully funded PhD position is available in the group in collaboration with The Falcon Project, entitled “Spin-crossover-activation-in-energetic-metal-organic-frameworks”. See the advert on
  • September 2023 – One of our very best papers on fascinating gel morphology has been published in Chemical Science. One molecule; many flavours! Great work by an amazing team over many years especially James Smith and Rafa Contreras-Montoya.
  • June 2021 – Jon Steed has been awarded the RSC Tilden Prize for his work in the understanding, control and application of the assembly of molecular materials in the crystal and gel state.
  • September 2020 – In collaboration with Graeme Day (Southampton) and Mike Probert (Newcastle) our paper on Minimizing Polymorphic Risk through Cooperative Computational and Experimental Exploration has been published in J. Am. Chem. Soc.
Figure 1
  • July 2020 – Our work in collaboration with Mike Probert and Mike Hall in Newcastle along with work by Jim Wuest in Montreal has resulted in the 13th and 14th structures of the highly polymorphic ROY (now once again the most polymorphic small molecule. The work out the two groups is featured in Chem. Eng. News.
  • January 2020 – The group in collaboration with Prof. Patrick Steel and a large coalition of international partners has been awarded funding by the EPSRC through the GCRF Scheme for a project involving treatment of one of the worlds nastiest neglected tropical diseases. “Patient-centric supramolecular formulations of new anti-leishmanial drugs for Indian Communities”. Total £906,253.
  • January 2020 – Jonathan Steed has been appointed as the new Editor-in-Chief of the ACS journal Crystal Growth & Design. See Jon’s inaugural interview here.
Crystal Growth of Organic Materials | EMRS
  • April 2018 – Group Graduate Dr. Yuexian Hong has been awarded a prestigious ‘International Talent Fellowship’ by the Chinese Government to work at Peking University. Well done Yuexian!
  • December 2017 – The group has been awarded funding by the EPSRC for a collaborative project with Prof. Graeme Day (Southampton)Circe Crystal Engineering and AstraZeneca. EPSRC EP/R013373/1 “A Supramolecular Gel Phase Crystallisation Strategy” Total £647,452. Please see for a newly advertised PDRA position.
  • July 2017 – PhD work by Yuexian Hong on environmentally friendly dishwasher additives is the subject of a UK patent application filed with P&G. Well done Yuexian!
  • July 2017 – PhD work by Melissa Goodwin on coamorphus drug phases and on the well-known antiseptic povidone iodine (in collaboration with Ben Steed) is the subject of two US patent applications filed with Ashland Inc. Many congratulations Melissa and Ben!
  • June 2017 – Chris Jones has won the Ken Wade Thesis Prize for the best PhD Thesis in Durham Chemistry this year. Many congratulations Chris!
  • June 2015 – Dr. Stuart Kennedy has won first Poster Prize at the 48th Erice Crystallography Course – Engineering crystallography: from molecule to crystal to functional form. Congratulations Stuart!
  • March 2015 – A comprehensive review of the high Z’ phenomenon has been published entitled Packing Problems: High Z’ Crystal Structures and Their Relationship to Cocrystals, Inclusion Compounds, and PolymorphismChem. Rev., 2015, asap article DOI: 10.1021/cr500564z.
  • October 2014 – Two new researchers, Kate Horner and Antonio Cincotti, have started in the group working as part of a £1.7M Leverhulme Trust funded Research Programme Grant on the Scientific Properties of Complex Knots (SPOCK). The project is a collaboration across 12 researchers at Durham and Bristol Universities encompassing Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Bioscience, Computer Science, Anthropology and Philosophy.
  • September 2014 – The Z‘ web resource has a new home at and has been fully updated though to the May 2014 CSD update. The literature section has also been significantly updated and expanded.
  • January 2013 – For the year ended 2012, annual citations to work by the Steed group has topped 1000 for the first time giving the group a total of 7500 citations to our primary research.
  • December 2012 – Two New EU Marie-Curie Postdoctoral Fellows, Dr. Prakash Reddy and Dr. Arnab Dawn, will be joining the group in 2013. Their project will involve single-crystal-to-single-crystal transitions and pharamceutical crystal growth in supramolecular gels. Congratulations to both of them for winning these prestigious awards!
  • October 2012 – A web database and resource dedicated to the crystal chemistry or organic hydrates, funded by the EPSRC KTA is now live.
  • September 2012 – Jonathan Steed was the opening speaker at Indaba-7 in Kruger National Park, South Africa.
  • March 2012 – We have attracted EPSRC funding of £680k for a project entitled “Complementary Gel and Microemulsion Strategies for Pharmaceutical Crystallisation”. The grant is a collaboration with Sharon Cooper, Judith Howard and Paul Hodgkinson as part of the Polymorphism@Durham grouping and will explore kinetic templating of drug crystal forms in gels as well as targetting the thermodynamic polymorph in microemulsions.
  • March 2012 – Hiromitsu Maeda (Ritsumeikan University, Japan) has won the ChemComm Emerging Investigator Lectureship 2012. The award was presented by Jonathan Steed at ICPOC 2012, Durham, 12/9/12.
  • January 2012 – An 8-volume major reference work “Supramolecular Chemistry from Molecules to Nanomaterials” Edited by Philip Gale and Jonathan Steed with the assistance of a stellar group of international section editors and advisory board, has just been published by Wiley.
  • December 2011 – Prakash Reddy has been awarded an EU Marie Curie IIF Fellowship to carry out a project entitled “Solid State Chameleons: Chemical Transformations as Single Crystal Transitions” within the group.
  • December 2011 – Our article “Supramolecular Gel Chemistry: Developments over the last Decade” Chem. Commun. 2011, 47, 1379-1383 is one of the top 5 most accessed Highlights in 2011 and was the journal’s most accessed article for October.
  • July 2011 – Ph.D. student Jonathan Foster won a poster prize at the 6th International Symposium on Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry, Brighton for his work on pharmaceutical crystallisation in supramolecular gels. Jona also gave an outstanding oral ‘flash presentation’
  • July 2011 – our paper The Structure of Water in p-Sulfonatocalix[4]arene (Chem. Eur. J.) has been highlighted as a ‘Very Important Paper‘. This paper reports the gorgeous single crystal neutron structures of known and new forms of the hydrated calixarenes discovered by the Atwood group (Nature 1991). Some surprises and calculations on the OH…pi interaction using PACHA.
  • March 2011 – Jonathan Steed lectured at the Cátedra de Sede at the UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL DE COLOMBIA. 

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