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Keywords:

  • allosteric effects;
  • calix[4]arenes;
  • complexes with alkali metal halides;
  • receptors;
  • supramolecular chemistry
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

First the cation, then the anion. This describes the complexation of alkali metal halides with bifunctional receptors like that on the right (R = n-octyl) based on calix[4]arenes. The uncomplexed ligand has a strong intramolecular hydrogen bond between the urea moieties, which is disrupted by the conformational change induced by complexation of a Na+ ion. Only then is an anion like Cl bound in the upper portion of the calixarene.