Container Molecules with Portals: Reversibly Switchable Cycloalkane Complexation


  • This work was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF Grant 200020-111533/1 and NCCR “Nanoscale Science”, Basel). We are grateful to Philipp Zumbrunnen for extensive NMR measurements.


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A molecular basket (see picture) and a molecular tube can be reversibly switched between closed and open forms. In their closed forms, these novel container molecules encapsulate cycloalkanes such as cyclohexane. Their binding capabilities can be completely turned off by the addition of acid. Neutralization with base leads to restoration of the original complexes.