Associate Professor YIP Hon Kay, John

B.Sc.(1st class hons.), 1989, University of Hong Kong; Ph.D., 1993, University of Hong Kong< (Supervisor: Prof Chi Ming Che); 1993-1995, TU Munich; Alexander von Humboldt Fellow (Supervisor: Hubert Schmidbaur); 1995-1997, Caltech; Postdoctoral Fellow (Supervisor: Sunney I. Chan)

Contact Information
Department of Chemistry, NUS 
3 Science Drive 3 
Singapore 117543 
Office: S5-05-05
Tel: (65)-6516-6256
Fax: (65)-6779-1691

Position Openings

(Dated 27 Dec 2012)

My group is seeking a Research Assistant with a MSc or Phd in inorganic/organometallic chemistry with experience in ligand and inorganc synthesis and electrochemistry (mainly cyclic voltammetry). If you possess the necessary experience and qualification, please feel free to email to me at


Research Interests

Research Interests: Metal-directed Self Assembly of nanoscopic and supramolecular structures, Molecular wires, inorganic and organometallic photochemistry. 

(i) Nanoscopic and Supramolecular Chemistry: We are interested in using metal-directed self-assembly to construct nanosized inorganic molecules. Our recent work showed that a digold(I) molecular "clip" can be used to build molecular rectangle (1.6 nm x 0.7 nm) which is a receptor for aromatic molecules (See figure 1). The rectangle is fluorescent and shows interesting molecular recognitions. Currently we are using similar techniques to build nanoscopic molecular cages which can be engineered into enzyme-like catalysts. By judicious design of ligands, it is possible to devise molecular rectangles which can self-assemble into nanotubes.

Figure 1

(2) Molecular Wires: There is a lot interest in organometallic p-conjuated rod-like molecules because of their potential applications in OLED, non-linear optics, liquid crystals and molecular electronics. Understanding how charges delocalize over the p-conjuagted systems, especially the roles played by the metals is important. Currently we are studying the effect of metal clusters or metal-metal bonds in mediating electronic communications in organometallic rod-like molecules. New metal-containing p-conjugated systems are being developed in our lab. (Figure 2 shows a molecular wire inserted with a Pt-Pt s -bond)

Figure 2

(3) Inorganic and Organometallic Photochemistry: Photoluminescent inorganic and organometallic complexes have important applications in solar energy conversion, molecular electronics, biological labeling, OLED etc. Our lab is currently working on the synthesis and photochemistry of Pd, Pt, Au, Cu and Ag complexes which can be engineered into chemicals sensors for small molecules (i.e. O2, NO) or undergo multielectron transfer reactions. (Figure 3 shows the structure of a luminescent pentanuclear copper cluster synthesized in our lab)

Figure 3

Representative Publications

  1. Photooxygenation of a Luminescent Platinum-Anthracene Pincer Complex - Structure and Formation of PtII-Anthrone and -Ketal Complexes - J. Hu, H. Xu, J. H. K. Yip*, Inorganic Chemistry, 2009, in press

  2. Regioselective Double Cyclometalation of 9,10-bis(diphenylphosphino)anthracene - J. Hu, J. H. K. Yip*, Organometallics, 200928, 1093

  3. Switching on the Phosphorescence of Pyrene by Cycloplatination - J. Hu, J. H. K. Yip*, D. Mak, K.-Y. Wong, Organometallics, 200928, 51

  4. Templated Assembly of a Pseudorotaxane of Gold Rectangle - Y. Wang, R. Lin, J. H. K. Yip*, Dalton Transactions, 2008, 2806  (Selected as Hot paper and cover page)

  5. Attaching Gold and Platinum to the Rim of Pyrene: A Synthetic and Spectroscopic Study - W. Y. Heng, J. Hu, J. H. K. Yip*, Organometallics, 200726, 6760.

  6. Synthesis and Electronic Spectroscopy of Luminescent Cyclometalated Platinum - Anthracenyl Complexes - J. Hu, R. Lin, J. H. K. Yip*, K.Y. Wong, D. Ma, J. J. Vittal, Organometallics, 200726, 6533

  7. Self-assembly, structures, and solution dynamics of emissive silver metallacycles and helices - R. Lin, J. H. K. Yip*, Inorganic Chemistry, 200645, 4423

  8. Self-Assembly and Molecular Recognition of a Luminescent Gold Rectangle - Ronger Lin, John H. K. Yip*, Ke Zhang, Kowk-Yin Wong, Kam Piu Ho, Journal of the American Chemical Society2004126, 15852-15869.

  9. First Examples of AuI-X-AgI Halonium Cations (X = Cl- and Br-) - Ke Zhang, J. Prabhavathy, John H. K. Yip*, Lip Lin Koh, Geok Kheng Tan, Jagadese J. Vittal, Journal of the American Chemical Society2003125, 8452-8453

  10. Electronic Communication Mediated By a PtI-PtI s-Bond - John H. K. Yip*, Jianguo Wu, Kwok-Yin Wong*, Kam Piu Ho, Christine So-Ngan Pun, Jagadese J. Vittal, Organometallics200221, 5292-523

  11. Coordination Networks of Ag(I) and N,N' - Bis(3-Pyridinecarboxamide)-1,6-Hexane: Structures and Anion Exchange - Sebastian Muthu, John H. K. Yip*, Jagadese J. Vittal, J. Chem. Soc., Dalton Trans, 2002, 4561-4568.

  12. A luminescent gold ring that flips like cyclohexane - John H. K. Yip*, J. Prabhavathy, Angewandte Chemie International English Edition200140, 2159 - 2162 (Cited as Editors' Choice of Recent Highlight in Literature in Science issue15th June 2001, p1967-1968)