Dynamic Molecular Recognition in Solid State for Separating Mixtures of Isomeric Dicarboxylic Acids


  • The authors thank the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia for financial support (grant numbers 119-1191342-1082, 119-1193079-1084, 119-1191342-2960, 098-0982915-2950, and 098-0982904-2953). Dr. R. S. Stein is acknowledged for critically reading the manuscript, M. Ratkaj and Dr. N. Košutić-Hulita (Pliva Croatia) for help with PXRD data collection, and Dr. M. Eckert-Maksić and A. Pupačić for providing the planetary mill.


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Flexible even if constrained: A polyamine host recognizes dicarboxylic acids in solution and in the solid state, with the highest selectivity towards maleic acid, binding it from mixtures with up to five other dicarboxylic acids, including fumaric acid (see picture). Recognition using mechanochemistry is a dynamic process involving intermediate phases, resulting in the same selectivity as achieved by crystallization from solution.