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Angiolina Comotti

Associate professor

Via Roberto Cozzi, 55
tel.: 02.6448.5140

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Curriculum Vitae

Angiolina Comotti got a master degree in Chemistry at the University of Milan, in 1995 she held a Fellowship for one year at the ETH in Zurich and in 1998 she got her PhD degree in Chemistry. In 2001 she was appointed as an Assistant Professor (tenured position) of Physical Chemistry at the Department of Materials Science at the University of Milano-Bicocca where she is currently Associate Professor. She carried out research activity at Cambridge University, University of California at Berkeley (by Alex Pines) and has been Visiting Scientist at New York University (by Mike Ward) and at the University of Strasbourg (by Wais Hosseini). She performed neutron diffraction experiments at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory ISIS (Oxford) and was in charge of several projects at synchrotron light source at ESRF (Grenoble).

She has published 115 papers in International and Peer Reviewed Journals and 6 book chapters, in particular, during the last decade 1 Science, 1 Nature Mater., 2 Nature Chem., 21 Angew. Chemie Int. Ed. and J. Am. Chem. Soc.; 2 international patents and 180 communications and invited lectures to congresses.

She has received the national award for Industrial Innovation by AIRI at the Accademia dei Lincei in 1995, the "SAPIO NMR 2000" award and the "Micromeritics" grant award 2012.

Several publications were selected as HOT or VIP papers and highlighted in the cover of the journals (10 covers). The discovery of a new class of organic zeolites and their storage capacity was remarked by C&EN (2000), C&EN (2005) (Freeemantle), Chem-DE (2005), Spectroscopy Now “Crystal Gas Tank” (2005) (D. Bradley) and C&EN (2009). The novelty of the results published in Science 2011 was highlighted in a "Perspective" article of the same issue, in Royal Society of Chemistry and Scientific American press releases, and in over 40 websites. Chem.& Eng. News dedicated the "News of the Week" to the results. The recent article published in Nature Chemistry 2015 about the CO2 capture/release on command in a porous molecular crystal has been featured in Chemistry World Royal Society of Chemistry and several other journals.


DIDACTIC ACTIVITY Since 2000 she has been teaching in the undergraduate and graduate program of Materials Science: Physical Chemistry 1999-2013; Structural Chemistry 2000-2012; Chemistry of Materials 1998-2009; Molecular Spectroscopy and Analytical Chemistry 2010 through present; Chemistry and Technology of Polymers 2013 through present. In the European Doctorate Program of Materials Science and Nanotechnology she has taught: Supramolecular Materials Chemistry 2008, 2011; Design of Porous Materials 2006, 2009. She has gained a wide teaching experience in International Schools focused on Crystallography, Molecular Spectroscopy and Supramolecular Materials Chemistry (School of Crystallography Erice 2001-2004; International Summer School of Crystallography and International School on Polymer Nanocomposite Gargnano 2007, 2008). She has been the supervisor of 4 foreign PhD students (exchange program) in collaboration with Osaka University, UCLA Los Angeles, Kyoto University. She has been the supervisor of 2 PhD students at New York University.


STATEMENT OF RESEARCH INTERESTS My research interests are focused on the construction of porous supramolecular architectures and covalent frameworks containing nanocavities that behave as molecular vessels for gas storage and chemical reactions, especially polymerizations. The approach is based on the design and realization of self-assembled architectures exploiting interactions of variable strength from van der Waals and ionic interactions to hydrogen bonds and metal-organic bonds. My scientific interests encompass interdisciplinary fields of chemistry and materials science, including the preparation of hybrid systems and macromolecular architectures, combined with the use of advanced spectroscopies, especially 1D and 2D solid state NMR, and structural methods such as synchrotron X-ray diffraction and neutron diffraction. Ab initio computational studies corroborate the experimental results for the understanding of the spectroscopic properties of complex structures. The main achievements comprise a new strategy to attain porous crystals held together by weak interactions and the decoration of the walls with receptors for efficient CO2 and CH4 absorption (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2005, VIP article and front cover), the exploitation of charge-assisted hydrogen bonds and properly engineered building blocks for the realization of supramolecular Archimedean solids (Science 2011), the construction of molecular and dipolar rotors in porous materials whose rotational frequencies can be controlled by chemical stimuli (Angew.Chem.Int.Ed. 2010,2014,2015 and J.Am.Chem.Soc. 2014), the fabrication of flexible molecular crystals capable of switching the porosity on/off by irradiation and consequently absorb and release CO2 on command (Nature Chem 2015), the unprecedented production of micrometric polymer objects of defined geometries by shape replica of silica self-generated mesoporous micro-objects (Nature Mater 2006) and new synthetic routes of confined polymerization for the synthesis of atactic polymers endowed a crystalline arrangement (Nature Chem 2013).

Main Publications


V. N. Yadav, A. Comotti, P. Sozzani, S. Bracco, T. Bonge-Hansen, M. hennum, C. H. Gorbitz (VIP article and Cover Picture) Microporous Molecular Materials from Dipeptides Containing Non-proteogenic Residues Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 15684.

M. Baroncini, S. d’Agostino, G. Bergamini, P. Ceroni, A. Comotti, P. Sozzani, I. Bassanetti, F. Grepioni, T. M. Hernandez, S. Silvi, M. Venturi, A. Credi Photoinduced Reversible Switching of Porosity in Molecular Crystals Based on Star-Shaped Azobenzene Tetramers. Nature Chem. 2015, 7, 634. Highlighted in Chemistry World Royal Society of Chemistry 6 June 2015 by Tim Wogan Novel Compounds make light work of trapping carbon dioxide

S. Bracco, M. Beretta, A. Cattaneo, A. Comotti, A. Falqui, K. Zhao, C. Rogers, P. Sozzani (VIP article and Cover Picture of the Issue) Dipolar Rotors Orderly Aligned in Mesoporous Fluoro-Organosilica Architectures. Angew Chem Int Ed. 2015, 54, 4773.

T. Kitao, S. Bracco, A. Comotti, P. Sozzani, M. Naito, S. Seki, T. Uemura, S. Kitagawa Confinement of Single Polysilane Chains in Coordination Nanospaces. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 5231.

I. Bassanetti, A. Comotti, P. Sozzani, S. Bracco, G. Calestani, F. Mezzadri, L. Marchiò Porous Molecular Crystals by Macrocyclic Coordination Supramolecules. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 14883.

A. Comotti, S. Bracco, T. Ben, S. Qiu, P. Sozzani (Hot Paper and Cover Paper) Molecular Rotors in Porous Aromatic Frameworks. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 1043

A. Comotti, S. Bracco, A. Yamamoto, M. Beretta, T. Hirukawa, N. Tohnai, M. Miyata, P. Sozzani Engineering Switchable Rotors in Molecular Crystals with Open Porosity. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 618.

G. Distefano, H. Suzuki, M. Tsujimoto, S. Isoda, S. Bracco, A. Comotti, P. Sozzani, T. Uemura, S. Kitagawa Highly ordered alignment of a vinyl polymer by host–guest cross-polymerization. Nature Chem. 2013, 5, 335.       Highlighted in Crystals of polystyrene 25 February 2013 Jon Cartwright

G. Distefano, A. Comotti, S. Bracco, M. Beretta, P. Sozzani (Hot Paper and Cover Paper) Porous Dipeptide Crystals as Polymerization Nanoreactors. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, 51, 9258.

A. Comotti, S. Bracco, M. Mauri, S. Mottadelli, T. Ben, S. L. Qiu, P. Sozzani Confined Polymerization in Porous Organic Frameworks with an Ultrahigh Surface Area. Angew. Chemie Int. Ed. 2012, 51, 10136.

L. Kobr, K. Zhao, Y. Q. Shen, A. Comotti, S. Bracco, R. K. Shoemaker, P. Sozzani, N. A. Clark, J. C. Price, C. T. Rogers, J. Michl Inclusion Compound Based Approach to Arrays of Artificial Dipolar Molecular Rotors. A Surface Inclusion. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 10122.

I. Bassanetti, F. Mezzadri, A. Comotti, P. Sozzani, M. Gennari, G. Calestani, L. Marchiò Influence of Anions in Silver Supramolecular Frameworks: Structural Characteristics and Sorption Properties. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 9142.

Y. Liu, C. Hu., A. Comotti, M. D. Ward Supramolecular Archimedean Cages Assembled  with Seventy-two Hydrogen Bonds Science 2011, 333, 436. Commentary in an article (Perspective) Science 2011, 333, 415. A Versatile Molecular Trap Built from Hydrogen-Bonded Tiles by J. W. Lauher Highlighted in “News of the Weeks” Chem.& Eng. News 2011, 89, 7 One home for various guests by Bethany Halford Featured in Scientific American website in a press release entitled: Molecular Meshup: Self-Assembling Cages Trap Molecules Highlighted in Royal Society of Chemistry, Advancing the Chemical Sciences website Chemists create a molecular ship in a bottle. by Simon Hadlington Highlighted over 40 websites.

S. Bracco, A. Comotti, L. Ferretti, P. Sozzani Supramolecular Aggregation of Block Copolymers in the Solid State As Assisted by the Selective Formation of Inclusion Crystals. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 8982.

A. Comotti, S. Bracco, P. Valsesia, M. Beretta, P. Sozzani (Cover paper of the issue) Fast Molecular Rotor Dynamics Modulated by Guest Inclusion in a Highly Organized Nanoporous Organosilica Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2010, 49, 1760.

A. Soegiarto, A. Comotti, M. D. Ward Controlled orientation of polyconjugated guest molecoles in tunable host cavities. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 14603.

P. Sozzani, A. Comotti, S. Bracco, G. Distefano (HOT paper) Methane, carbon dioxide and hydrogen storage in nanoporous dipeptide-based materials. Chem. Commun. 2009, 3, 284. Highlighted in Chem. & Eng. News 2008, 86, 35   Dipeptide Crystals For Gas Storage  by Rachel Petkewich Highlighted in the Chemical Science 17 December 2008    A natural solution to man-made problems by Freya Mearns

T. Uemura, S. Horike, K. Kitagawa, M. Mizuno, K. Endo, S. Bracco, A. Comotti, P. Sozzani, M. Nagaoka, and S. Kitagawa  Conformation and Molecular Dynamics of Single Polystyrene Chain Confined in Coordination Nanospace. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 6781.

A. Comotti, S. Bracco, P. Sozzani, S. Horike, R. Matsuda, J. Chen, M. Takata, Y. Kubota, S. Kitagawa Nanochannels of Two Distinct Cross-Sections in a Porous Al-based Coordination Polymer. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 13664.

A. Comotti, S. Bracco, P. Valsesia, L. Ferretti, P. Sozzani 2D Multinuclear NMR, Hyperpolarized Xenon, and Gas Storage in Organosilica Nanochannels with Crystalline Order in the Walls. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 8566.

P. Sozzani, S. Bracco, A. Comotti, P. Valsesia, R. Simonutti, Y. Sakamoto, O. Terasaki Complete Shape Retention in the Transformation of Silica to Polymer Micro-Objects. Nature Mater. 2006, 5, 545.

P. Sozzani, S. Bracco, A. Comotti, L. Ferretti, R. Simonutti (VIP and Cover Paper of the Issue) Methane and Carbon Dioxide Storage in a Porous Van der Waals Crystal. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2005, 44, 1816.                Highlighted in Chem. & Eng. News 2005 Methane and carbon dioxide storage in a porous van der Waals crystal

P. Sozzani, S. Bracco, A. Comotti, R. Simonutti Crystallization to Hexagonal Lattices and Motional Phase Disorder in Polymer Crystals. Adv. Polym. Sci. 2005, 181, 153.

M. Brustolon, A. Barbon, M. Bortolus, A.L. Maniero, P. Sozzani, A. Comotti, R. Simonutti Dynamics of Alkoxy-oligothiophene Ground and Excited States in Nanochannels. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2004, 126, 15512.

P. Sozzani, A. Comotti, S. Bracco, R. Simonutti A Family of Supramolecular Frameworks of Polyconjugated Molecules Hosted in Aromatic Nanochannels. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2004, 43, 2811.



Projects & Contracts




Upcoming Events
27/02/2018: Graphene growth on Ni(111) Feb 27, 2018 11:00 - 12:30 — Seminar room, 1st Floor, U5 Building
07/03/2018: Tight-binding Density Functional Theory (DFTB) an approximate Kohn-Sham DFT scheme Mar 07, 2018 11:30 - 01:00 — Seminar room, 1st Floor, U5 Building
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