Exciting advances in crystal engineering

Faculty of Science
Students on campus near O-Train station.
While working as a postdoctoral fellow with Professor David Bryce, Vijith Kumar built on his research experience in supramolecular chemistry by exploring organic crystal engineering with novel non-covalent interactions such as chalcogen and tetrel bonding.

With their strength and directionality, these synthons (structural units formed with intermolecular interactions) have recently gained in prominence and importance in a range of fields including organic reactivity, self-assembly and pharmaceuticals. He approached the study of these interactions by preparing a library of cocrystals and undertaking their detailed characterization via various methods, including solid-state NMR spectroscopy, vibrational spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography and quantum chemical calculations.

Vijith Kumar with Professor David Bryce

Vijith’s research revealed that the various design strategies and analytical techniques employed, as well as the knowledge gained from computational chemistry, provide new directions for chalcogen and tetrel bond based crystal engineering. His findings resulted in six papers and one more in the pipeline, including three cover articles. Vijith was also awarded a prestigious Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellowship, which he now holds at the Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre at the University of Limerick, Ireland.

With a promising future ahead, Vijith continues to make important discoveries in the field of crystal engineering research. He is keen to apply crystal engineering principles to produce multi-component pharmaceutical materials, an approach that can improve various properties such as solubility, bioavailability and stability of drug molecules and that could potentially lead to the production of better and cheaper medicines.

Vijith is deeply appreciative for all the resources available at the University of Ottawa and for his many discussions with highly experienced scientists. He credits his accomplishments to the invaluable advice and support he received from his supervisor Professor Bryce, as well as his colleagues in the Bryce lab.