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Efficient Long-Range Stereochemical Communication and Cooperative Effects in Self-Assembled Fe4L6 Cages

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journal contribution
posted on 19.09.2012 by Naoki Ousaka, Sergio Grunder, Ana M. Castilla, Adam C. Whalley, J. Fraser Stoddart, Jonathan R. Nitschke
A series of large, optically active Fe4L6 cages was prepared from linear 5,5′-bis­(2-formylpyridines) incorporating varying numbers (n = 0–3) of oligo-p-xylene spacers, chiral amines, and FeII. When a cage was constructed from the ligand bridged by one p-xylene spacer (n = 1) and a bulky chiral amine, both a homochiral Fe2L3 helicate and Fe4L6 cage were observed to coexist in solution due to a delicate balance between steric factors. In contrast, when a less bulky chiral amine was used, only the Fe4L6 cage was observed. In the case of larger cages (n = 2, 3), long-range (>2 nm) stereochemical coupling between metal centers was observed, which was minimally diminished as the ligands were lengthened. This communication was mediated by the ligands’ geometries and rigidity, as opposed to gearing effects between xylene methyl groups: the metal-centered stereochemistry was not observed to affect the axial stereochemistry of the ligands.