Supramolecular Inorganic Chemistry: Small Guests in Small and Large Hosts

Authors

  • Prof. Dr. Achim Müller,

    Corresponding author
    1. Fakultät für Chemie der Universität, Postfach 100131, D-33501 Bielefeld (Germany), Telefax: Int. code + 521-106-6003
    • Fakultät für Chemie der Universität, Postfach 100131, D-33501 Bielefeld (Germany), Telefax: Int. code + 521-106-6003
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  • Prof. Dr. Hans Reuter,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institut für Chemie der Universität, Postfach 4469, D-49069 Osnabrück (Germany), Telefax: Int. code + (541) 969-2370
    • Institut für Chemie der Universität, Postfach 4469, D-49069 Osnabrück (Germany), Telefax: Int. code + (541) 969-2370
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  • Dipl.-Chem. Stephan Dillinger

    1. Fakultät für Chemie der Universität, Postfach 100131, D-33501 Bielefeld (Germany), Telefax: Int. code + 521-106-6003
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  • Dedicated to Professor Jean-Marie Lehn

Abstract

A key reaction in the biological and material world is the controlled linking of simple (molecular) building blocks, a reaction with which one can create mesoscopic structures, which, for example, contain cavities and display specifically desired properties, but also compounds that exhibit typical solid-state structures. The best example in this context is the chemistry of host–guest interactions, which spans the entire range from three- and two-dimensional to one- and “zero-dimensional”, discrete host structures. Members of the class of multidimensional compounds have been classified as such for a long time, for example, clathrates and intercalation compounds. Thus far, however, there are no classifications for discrete inorganic host–guest compounds. The first systematic approach can be applied to novel polyoxometalates, a class of compounds which has only recently become known. Molecular recognition; tailor-made, molecular engineering; control of fragment linkage of spin organization and crystallization; cryptands and coronands as “cages” for cations, anions or anion–cation aggregates as sections of ionic lattices; anions within anions, receptors; host–guest interactions; complementarity, as well as the dialectic terms reduction and emergence are important terms and concepts of supramolecular inorganic chemistry. Of particular importance for future research is the comprehension of the mesoscopic area (molècular assemblies)—that between individual molecules and solids (“substances”)—which acts in the biological world as carrier of function and information and for which interesting material properties are expected. This area is accessible through certain variations of “controlled” self-organization processes, which can be demonstrated by using examples from the chemistry of polyoxometalates. The comprehension of the laws that rule the linking of simple polyhedra to give complex systems enables one to deal with numerous interdisciplinary areas of research: crystal physics and chemistry, heterogeneous catalysis, bioinorganic chemistry (biomineralization), and materials science. In addition, conservative self-organization processes, for example template-directed syntheses, are of importance for natural philosophy in the context of the question about the inherent properties of material systems.

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