A Water Soluble Donor–Acceptor [2]Catenane that Can Switch between a Coplanar and a Gemini-Sign Conformation


  • We thank the Croucher Foundation, Pembroke College, and EPSRC for financial support, and Dr. Ana Belenguer for maintaining the HPLC laboratory.


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When the moon is in the seventh house: A conformationally switchable donor–acceptor [2]catenane was synthesized from a dynamic combinatorial library in water. The arrangement of the π units in one of the observed conformations features an unprecedented Gemini shape, which is reminiscent of the astrological Gemini sign (see picture). The catenane can be switched between the parallel and nonparallel conformations upon thermal, chemical, or hydrophobic stimuli.