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Structure-Directed Synthesis of new organic materials


  • We are most grateful to Dr. N. S. Isaacs (University of Reading) for performing all the high pressure reactions, Dr. J. D. R. Thomas (University of Wales College of Cardiff) for conducting the chemical sensing experiments, Mr. P. R. Ashton and Dr. N. Spencer (University of Sheffield) for recording FABMS and NMR spectra, respectively, and to Dr. D. J. Williams and Miss A. M. Z. Slawin (Imperial College London) for carrying out the X-ray crystal structure determinations. The research was supported by the University of Sheffield, the Science and Engineering Research Council, and the Ministry of Defence in the UK, and by the University of Messina in Italy. One of us (J. F. S.) acknowledges the award of a Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust and thanks Dr. Peter Mitchell and Prof. Jean-Marie Lehn for useful discussions.


The synthesis of molecular cages, belts and strips opens up new areas of technology for exploitation. Solvent specific sensors are one possible use of cage molecules called carcerands (see figure). A series of Diels Alder reactions under tight stereochemical control are used in a remarkably efficient manner to produce the structures.

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