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Keywords:

  • anions;
  • cage compounds;
  • calorimetry;
  • enthalpy–entropy compensation;
  • host–guest systems
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Entropy matters! In contrast to classic host–guest design, which employs dedicated enthalpic interactions of the binding partners, the novel electroneutral host 1 binds its anionic guests by virtue of an overwhelmingly positive entropy of association. The prime driving force is guest desolvation. Despite the total omission of hydrogen bonding, host 1 is one of the best electroneutral receptors known for binding anions in polar solution.