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A Cu I 6 L 4 Cage Dynamically Reconfigures to Form Suit[4]anes and Selectively Bind Fluorinated Steroids

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Speakman, Natasha M. A.; paragon-plus: 6930396 
paragon-plus: 6472779 
paragon-plus: 637975  ORCID logo


Simple organic ligands can self-assemble with metal ions to generate metal–organic cages, whose cavities bind guests selectively. This binding may enable new methods of chemical separation or sensing, among other useful functions. Here we report the preparation of a CuI 6L4 pseudo-octahedral metal–organic cage, the ligands of which self-assemble from simple organic building blocks. Temperature, solvent, and the presence of different guests governed which structure predominated from a dynamic mixture of cage diastereomers with different arrangements of right- or left-handed metal vertices. Dissolution in dimethyl sulfoxide or the binding of tetrahedral guests led to a chiral tetrahedral T-symmetric framework, whereas low temperatures favored the achiral S 4-symmetric diastereomer. Tetrahedral guests with long arms were encapsulated to form mechanically bonded suit[4]­anes, with guest arms protruding out through host windows. The cage was also observed to bind fluorinated steroids, an important class of drug molecules, but not non-fluorinated steroids, providing the basis for new separation processes.


Publication status: Published


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American Chemical Society
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/P027067/1)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/T031603/1)