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Constraining Homo- and Heteroanion Dimers in Ultraclose Proximity within a Self-Assembled Hexacationic Cage

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posted on 2020-11-11, 03:46 authored by Hongye Wang, Shuai Fang, Guangcheng Wu, Ye Lei, Qiong Chen, Hongliang Wang, Yating Wu, Chuhao Lin, Xin Hong, Sung Kuk Kim, Jonathan L. Sessler, Hao Li
A hexacationic cage 36+ was synthesized via hydrazone condensation in aqueous acid. Cage 36+ bears three biscationic arms, each of which contains four relatively acidic protons, including one NH and three CH protons. These hydrogen bond donors, as well as its intrinsic cationic nature, enable cage 36+ to encapsulate two anions concurrently within its cavity. The axial asymmetrical nature of the biscationic arms allow the cage to recognize two different anions in a selective manner, to encompass bound heteroanion dimers, such as Cl·NO3 and Cl·Br. Single crystal X-ray diffraction analyses reveal that in the solid state the two anions are constrained in ultraclose proximity within the cage; e.g., the Cl···Cl and Cl···Br distances are 3.2 and 2.9 Å, respectively, which are shorter than the sum of their van der Waals radii. Evidence consistent with the sequential binding of two identical or disparate anions in CD3CN is also presented.