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Keywords:

  • cucurbiturils;
  • fluorescence;
  • gas sensing;
  • host–guest systems;
  • hydrocarbons;
  • supramolecular chemistry
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Hydrocarbons are no longer afraid of water when they are reversibly encapsulated by cucurbituril (see picture). The pumpkin-shaped molecular container displays a high affinity and selectivity towards neutral molecules in salt-free aqueous solutions. A supramolecular sensing ensemble, composed of cucurbit[6]uril and an anchored indicator dye, is introduced as a highly sensitive fluorescence-based online detection tool for gas binding in solution.