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Keywords:

  • isomers;
  • metal–organic complexes;
  • self-assembly;
  • structure elucidation;
  • supramolecular chemistry
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Survival of the fittest: Two water-soluble metal–organic architectures, a tetrahedron and a pentagonal prism, were selectively assembled from the same building blocks under different reaction conditions. In a mixture of the two, the prism was disassembled upon addition of 4-methoxyaniline to form a mononuclear complex, while leaving the more stable tetrahedral structure intact.