Professor Michaele Hardie

Professor Michaele Hardie


I did my undergraduate degree and PhD at the University of Melbourne in Australia. My PhD (1996) was on the synthesis and X-ray structure determination of coordination polymers working under the supervision of Richard Robson and Bernard Hoskins. I did post-doctoral work at Melbourne, University of Toledo USA and Monash University, Australia before being appointed lecturer in inorganic chemistry at the University of Leeds in 2001, where I am currently Professor of Supramolecular Chemistry. I was awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry Corday-Morgan Prize in 2011 for most meritorious contributions to chemistry (40 yo or under). I have recently held a visiting professorship at Osaka University (2017). My current research interests are in the area of metallo-supramolecular chemistry and we are particularly interested in the self-assembly of discrete nano-scale metallo-supramolecular cages, and in coordination polymers.


  • Head of Inorganic Section
  • 3rd year BSc tutor

Research interests

Research interests are in the area of metallo-supramolecular chemistry. We are particularly interested in the self-assembly of discrete nano-scale metallo-supramolecular cages, and in coordination polymers and metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). Discrete cages often have polyhedral or prismatic structures and tend to feature significant internal space. Hence such assemblies may have potential applications as nano-scale reaction vessels. Coordination polymers are crystalline metal-ligand systems with infinite structures such as chains, helices, grids and 3D lattices. MOFs are a class of coordination polymers with 3D framework structures that are robust and porous. These materials may be useful for a number of applications, including molecular separations, catalysis and molecular storage.

Many of our efforts have been based around the molecular host cyclotriveratrylene, which has a pyramidal shape and shallow molecular cavity capable of forming host-guest interactions. We have been appending donor ligand functionality to these pyramidal host molecules in order to incorporate them into discrete assemblies and/or coordination polymers. Trinuclear complexes with catalytically-active or luminescent sites can be synthesised. Pyramidal ligands can also be used to form M3L2, M6L8 and M12L8 discrete nano-scale metallo-supramolecular cages which have unusual “star-burst” or stellated aspects to their structures. We study both their fundamental self-assembly and potential applications with current interests in luminscent cages and cages that can switch their structures on light irradiation. Other crystal engineering projects are investigating MOFs with flexible ligands.

All projects include synthetic organic and coordination chemistry, supramolecular chemistry, the use of standard spectroscopic techniques, and feature single crystal X-ray crystallography as a major characterisation method.


  • PhD Chemistry, 1996, University of Melbourne
  • BSc(Hons), 1991, University of Melbourne
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, 2007, University of Leeds

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy
  • Member of British Crystallographic Association

Research groups and institutes

  • Crystallisation and Directed Assembly
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