Stoddart Mechanostereochemistry Group





Stoddart Mechanostereochemistry Group



Alyssa-Jennifer Avestro

Graduate Student

Hometown: Vallejo, CA

Joined group: 2010

Left group: 2015


SERI Research Scholar | Jan–Aug 2015
Université de Genève, Genève, Switzerland (Host Principal Investigator: Professor Stefan Matile)
• SERI Swiss Government Excellence Scholar 2014–15

Ph.D. in Chemistry (Organic / Materials) | Nov 2010–Oct 2015
Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, United States (Thesis Advisor: Professor Sir J Fraser Stoddart)
• National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellow 2011–14 | NSF Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW) Fellow 2014–15 | NSF Advance NextProf Fellow 2013 | NSF Future Faculty Fellow 2013 | Milliken & Co. Graduate Speaker 2013


with Stefan Matile | Université de Genève

[12] Avestro, A.-J.; Cotelle, Y.; Sakai, N.; Matile, S. “Anion–π catalysis: a focus on Leonard turns,” J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2015, submitted

[11] Zhao, Y.; Cotelle, Y.; Avestro, A.-J.; Mareda, J.; Sakai, N.; Matile, S. “Asymmetric anion-π catalysis: enamine addition to nitroolefins on π-acidic surfaces,” J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2015, in press (DOI:10.1021/jacs.5b07382)

with Sir J Fraser Stoddart | Northwestern University

[10] McGonigal, P. R.; Deria, P.; Hod, I.; Moghadam, P. Z.; Avestro, A.-J.; Horwitz, N. E.; Gibbs-Hall, I. C.; Blackburn, A. K.; Chen, D.; Botros, Y. Y.; Wasielewski, M. R.; Snurr, R. Q.; Hupp, J. T.; Farha, O. K.; Stoddart, J. F. "Electrocheically addressable trisradical rotaxanes organized within a metal-organic framework," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2015, Early Edition (DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1514485112)

[9] Chen, D.; Avestro, A.-J.; Chen, Z.; Sun, J.; Wang, S.; Xiao, M.; Erno, Z.; Algaradah, M. M.; Nassar, M. S.; Amine, K.; Meng, Y.; Stoddart, J. F. “A rigid naphthalenediimide triangle for organic rechargeable lithium-ion batteries,” Adv. Mater., 2015, 27, 2907–2912* (DOI: 10.1002/adma.201405416) [*Featured on cover]

[8] Wilson, E. A.; Vermeulen, N. A.; McGonigal, P. R.; Avestro, A.-J.; Stoddart, J. F. "Formation of a hetero[3]rotaxane by a dynamic component-swapping strategy," Chem. Commun., 2014, 50, 9665–9668 (DOI: 10.1039/C4CC03612C)

[7] Avestro, A.-J.; Gardner, D. M.; Vermeulen, N. A.; Wilson, E. A.; Schneebeli, S. T.; Whalley, A. C.; Belowich, M. E.; R. Carmieli; M. R. Wasielewski; Stoddart, J. F. "Gated electron sharing within naphthalene diimide-based oligorotaxanes," Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 4442–4449 (DOI:10.1002/anie.201309680)

[6] Usta, H.*; Yilmaz, M. D.; Avestro, A.-J.; Boudinet, D.; Denti, M.; Stoddart, J. F.; Facchetti, A. "BODIPY–Thiophene copolymers as p-channel semiconductors for organic thin-film transistors," Adv. Mater. 2013, 25, 4327–4334 (DOI: 10.1002/adma.201300318) [*Corresponding author]

[5] Fahrenbach, A. C.; Warren, S. C.; Incorvati, J. T.; Avestro, A.-J.; Barnes, J. C.; Stoddart, J. F.; Grzybowski, B. A. "Organic switches for surfaces and devices," Adv. Mater. 2013, 3, 331–348 | (DOI: 10.1002/adma.201201912)

[4] Basuray, A. N.; Jacquot de Rouville, H.-P.; Hartlieb, K. J.; Kikuchi, T.; Strutt, N. L.; Ambrogio, M. W.; Avestro, A.-J.; Schneebeli, S. T.; Fahrenbach, A. C.; Stoddart, J. F. "The chameleonic nature of diazaperopyrenium recognition processes," Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, 51, 11872–11877 (DOI: 10.1002/anie.201205089)

[3] Avestro, A.-J.; Belowich, M. E.; Stoddart, J. F. "Cooperative self-assembly: producing synthetic polymers with precise and concise primary structures," Chem. Soc. Rev. 2012, 41, 5881-5898.* (DOI: 10.1039/c2cs35167f) [*Invited tutorial review for a special themed issue on supramolecular polymers; Featured on cover]

with NanOasis Technologies Inc

[2] Ratto, T. V.; Holt, J. K.; Kennedy, C.; Szmodis, A.; Avestro, A.-J.; O'Connell, M. "Non-reactive process for fixing nanotubes in a membrane in through-passage orientation," US Patent Application 12,912,291; October 26, 2010.

with J M J Fréchet | UC Berkeley

[1] Rodionov, V. O.; Gao, H.; Scroggins, S. T.; Unruh, D.; Avestro, A.-J.; Frechet, J. M. J. "Easy access to a family of polymer catalysts from modular star polymers," J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132 (8), 2570–2572 | DOI: 10.1021/ja9104842.


I was born and raised California, spending much of my youth in and out of "full houses" around the San Francisco Bay Area. Growing up in the East Bay was rough, so every opportunity to provide a better future for myself and my family took priority. I was very lucky to have been accepted to an accelerated high school program for 'at-risk' youth where I was able to take college courses at a young age. I received an AA degree in Liberal Arts Studies with a focus in physical sciences right around the same time I graduated high school. I moved on to UC Berkeley, where I had a great time working in the laboratory of Professor Jean Frechet on the design and synthesis of star polymer phase-transfer catalysts. Upon graduating from Cal with a B.S. in Chemistry (Organic Materials) and a minor in Bioengineering (Biomaterials), I worked as a Junior Scientist at the 2010 ARPA-E government funded Bay Area startup NanOasis Technologies, Inc. developing synthetic methodologies to prepare CNT-polymer composite thin films for efficient water desalination. I came to Northwestern in 2010, toughing out the cold, and started my graduate research appointment with Sir Fraser Stoddart. Currently, my research lines are focused on the design and template-directed synthesis and dynamic covalent chemistry of discrete oligo- and polymeric rotaxanes. Going being organic synthesis, my goal is to investigate and exploit their emergent properties, which arise from their long-range and cooperative π-stacking interactions, to gain a fundamental understanding of light-harvesting and through-space electron sharing dynamics.

I am a race enthusiast and find myself signing up for runs despite the fact that I'm really bad at running! In the winter I like to brush up on ice-skating. I also love cooking, hosting dinners and game & movie nights. I'm usually the one singing and dancing in lab; I'm literally a walking juke-box. Feel free to come by and chat sometime (or tell me to shut up!) ;)


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