Standard Article

Reactivity in Nanoscale Vessels

Supramolecular Reactivity

  1. Boris Breiner,
  2. Jonathan R. Nitschke

Published Online: 15 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9780470661345.smc163

Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials

Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials

How to Cite

Breiner, B. and Nitschke, J. R. 2012. Reactivity in Nanoscale Vessels. Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials. .

Author Information

  1. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2012


Reactivity in nanoscale vessels is based on host–guest chemistry, the “chemistry of the inner phase.” This term was coined by Cram to describe the mechanical entrapment of molecules within other molecules, and the new reactivity patterns that could be observed on this encapsulation. He quickly realized that encapsulated molecules showed behavior that was different from what was known about them in solution and concluded that molecules (“guests”) that were trapped inside another molecule (“host”) were in essence in a different state of matter. The field of host–guest chemistry has expanded drastically since his initial findings, and new reactions within the confines of a host are discovered at an ever-increasing rate. We will try to put relevant findings into order, in an attempt to highlight common themes and to illustrate general trends.


  • cage complexes;
  • supramolecular chemistry;
  • host–guest chemistry;
  • encapsulation;
  • chemistry of the inner phase;
  • self-assembly