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A curved host and second guest cooperatively inhibit the dynamic motion of corannulene.

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Biomolecular systems show how host-guest binding can induce changes in molecular behavior, which in turn impact the functions of the system. Here we report an artificial host-guest system where dynamic adaptation during guest binding alters both host conformation and guest dynamics. The self-assembled cage host employed here possesses concave walls and a chirotopic cavity. Complementarity between the curved surfaces of fullerenes and the inner surface of the host cavity leads the host to reconfigure stereochemically in order to bind these guests optimally. The curved molecule corannulene undergoes rapid bowl-to-bowl inversion at room temperature. Its inversion barrier is increased upon binding, however, and increased further upon formation of a ternary complex, where corannulene and a cycloalkane are both bound together. The chiral nature of the host also leads to clear differences in the NMR spectra of ternary complexes involving corannulene and one or the other enantiomer of a chiral guest, which enables the determination of enantiomeric excess by NMR.



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Nature communications

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European Research Council (695009)