Switchable Catalysis with a Light-Responsive Cavitand


  • We are grateful to the Skaggs Institute and the NIGMS (GM 27953) for financial support. A Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral fellowship for O.B.B. was provided by NIH (F32GM087068). A.C.S. is a Skaggs Pre-doctoral Fellow. We would also like to thank Prof. Arnie Rheingold and Milan Gembicky for assistance with the X-ray structure.


original image

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.