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Keywords:

  • cavitands;
  • host–guest systems;
  • Knoevenagel condensation;
  • photo-switches;
  • supramolecular catalysis
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Catalytic guest stars: A cavitand with an azobenzene wall adopts an introverted shape when irradiated with UV light. This conformation has been characterized in solution and the solid state and is used to control guest binding. By incorporating an organocatalyst guest, the rate of the Knoevenagel condensation is controlled with light.