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Keywords:

  • catenanes;
  • chemical topology;
  • cyclic helicates;
  • molecular knot;
  • self-assembly
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Doubly-entwined interlocked rings also known as Solomon's knots, are a common motif in Celtic art and stonework, such as the examples from St Magnus Cathedral, Orkney, shown in the picture. In their Communication on page 6464 ff., D. A. Leigh and co-workers report on the use of a tetrameric circular helicate to synthesize a molecular Solomon's knot. The one-pot synthesis assembles four iron(II) cations and four bis(aldehyde) and four bis(amine) building blocks to generate the two interwoven 68-membered-ring macrocycles in 75 % yield.