Pablo Ballester Balaguer

Institut Català d'Investigació Química

Experimental Sciences & Mathematics

Pablo Ballester studied Chemistry at the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB) where he also completed the PhD degree in 1986. In 1987 he was post-doctoral Associate with Prof. J. Rebek Jr. at the University of Pittsburgh. In 1988 after a post-doctoral stay at UIB he decided to return to Pittsburgh and moved to MIT in 1989. From 1991 to 2002 he held the positions of Assistant and Associate Professor at UIB and served as Secretary of the Chemistry Department, Vice-dean of the Faculty of Sciences and Head of Studies of Chemistry at UIB. In 2003 and while enjoying a sabbatical leave at the Scripps Research Institute (USA) with the rank of Associate Professor of Research he got an ICREA Research Professorship and joined ICIQ as Group Leader in 2004. He is the recipient of the 2012 Janssen Cilag Organic Chemistry Prize awarded by the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry. Since February 2016 he serves as ICIQ Vice-Director for BIST affairs.


Research interests

My scientific background lies in the areas of organic chemistry (making molecules) and supramolecular chemistry (study how molecules fit together). My research is mainly focused in the design, synthesis, study and characterization of functional molecular aggregates. I consider myself a mixture between a molecular architect and a molecular engineer. We study matter but we also produce matter and new materials. We work in trying to understand molecular self-assembly processes (non-covalnet synthesis) as a methodology to construct large and functional supramolecular assemblies, i.e., molecular machines. A second area of interest resides in the design and application of molecular containers. These are molecular or supramolecular structures with an internal cavity sufficiently large to include or encapsulate other molecules. Unfortunately, although we construct monumental and even artistic structures they are not visible to the naked eye due to their reduced nanometer size.

Selected publications

- Diaz-Moscoso A, Hernandez-Alonso D, Escobar L, Arroyave FA & Ballester P 2017, 'Stereoselective Synthesis of Lower and Upper Rim Functionalized Tetra-alpha Isomers of Calix[4]pyrroles', Org. Lett., 19, 1, 226 - 229.

- Diaz-Moscoso A & Ballester P 2017, 'Light-responsive molecular containers', Chem. Commun., 53, 34, 4635 - 4652.

- Mejuto C, Escobar, Guisado-Barrios G, Ballester P, Gusev D & Peris E 2017, 'Self-Assembly of Di-N-Heterocyclic Carbene-Gold-Adorned Corannulenes on C-60', Chem. Eur. J. , 23, 44, 10644 - 10651.

- Escudero-Adan EC, Bauza A, Hernandez-Eguia LP, Wuerthner F, Ballester P & Frontera A 2017, 'Solid-state inclusion of C-60 and C-70 in a co-polymer induced by metal-ligand coordination of a Zn-porphyrin cage with a bis-pyridyl perylene derivative', CrystEngComm, 19, 33, 4911 - 4919.

- Korom S & Ballester P 2017, 'Attachment of a Ru-II Complex to a Self-Folding Hexaamide Deep Cavitand', J. Am. Chem. Soc., 139, 35, 12109 - 12112.

- Galan A, Escudero-Adan E C & Ballester P  2017, 'Template-directed self-assembly of dynamic covalent capsules with polar interiors', Chem. Sci. , 8, 7746-7750.

- Romero JR, Aragay G & Ballester P 2017, 'Ion-pair recognition by a neutral [2]rotaxane based on a bis-calix[4]pyrrole cyclic component', Chem. Sci. , 8, 491-498.

- Frontera A & Ballester P 2017, 'Anion–π Interactions: Theoretical Studies, Supramolecular Chemistry and Catalysis', In Aromatic Interactions: Frontiers in Knowledge and Application, The Royal Society of Chemistry, p 39-97.

- Aguilera-Sigalat J, Saenz de Pipon C, Hernandez-Alonso D, Escudero-Adan EC, Galan-Mascaros JR & Ballester P 2017, 'A Metal Organic Framework Based on a Tetra-Arylextended Calix[4]pyrrole Ligand: Structure Control through the Covalent Connectivity of the Linker', Cryst. Growth. Des., 17, 3, 1328 - 1338.


Selected research activities

- Theses: Ramón Romero (PhD-URV), Daniel Hernández (PhD-URV). 

- Scientific consultant for the Henkel-ICIQ research unit.

- Member of the COST Actions CM1402 and CA16215.