Ligand-Template Directed Assembly: An Efficient Approach for the Supramolecular Encapsulation of Transition-Metal Catalysts

Authors

  • Arjan W. Kleij Dr.,

    1. Van't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018 WV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Fax: (+31) 20-525-5340
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  • Joost N. H. Reek Prof. Dr.

    1. Van't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018 WV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Fax: (+31) 20-525-5340
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Abstract

Supramolecular encapsulation of small guest molecules inside well-defined cavities of molecular capsules has witnessed broad attention because of the unusual behaviour of these systems. The molecular capsules generally consist of rigid complementary building blocks that are held together by multiple, complementary non-covalent interactions. Interestingly, it has been shown that chemical transformations can take place inside these capsules and in some examples the reaction is accelerated, while in other cases otherwise instable intermediates could be isolated in the capsulated form. Many reactions of interest require a transition-metal (TM) catalyst, and the creation of new capsules in which such catalysts are implemented within the structure is thus required for the development of resourceful type of catalyst systems for these processes. In this concept article we will discuss new strategies to arrive at such systems, with a focus on a ligand-templated approach. In this approach, multifunctional ligands are used as templates for the encapsulation process by supramolecular building blocks and concomitantly for the formation of TM complexes that are active in catalytic processes. The obtained encapsulated transition-metal catalysts show unusual reactivity and selectivity behaviour that will be discussed in detail.

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