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One guest or two? A crystallographic and solution study of guest binding in a cubic coordination cage

DOI: 10.1002/chem.201905499 DOI Help

Authors: Christopher Taylor (University of Warwick) , Stephen Argent (University of Warwick) , Michael Ludden (University of Warwick) , Jerico Piper (University of Warwick) , Cristina Mozaceanu (University of Warwick) , Sarah Barnett (Diamond Light Source) , Michael Ward (University of Warwick)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Chemistry - A European Journal

State: Published (Approved)
Published: December 2019
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 19876

Abstract: A crystallographic investigation of a series of host/guest complexes in which small‐molecule organic guests occupy the central cavity of an approximately cubic M 8 L 12 coordination cage has revealed some unexpected behaviour. Whilst some guests form 1:1 H•G complexes as we have seen before, an extensive family of bicyclic guests – including some substituted coumarins and various saturated analogues – form 1:2 H•G 2 complexes in the solid state, despite the fact that solution titrations are consistent with 1:1 complex formation, and the combined volume of the pair of guests significantly exceeds the Rebek 55±9% packing for optimal guest binding, with packing coefficients of up to 87%. Re‐examination of solution titration data for guest binding in two cases showed that, although conventional fluorescence titrations are consistent with 1:1 binding model, alternative forms of analysis – Job plot and an NMR titration – at higher concentrations do provide evidence for 1:2 H•G 2 complex formation. The observation of guests binding in pairs in some cases opens up new possibilities for altered reactivity of bound guests, and also highlights the recently‐articulated difficulties associated with determining stoichiometry of supramolecular complexes in solution.

Journal Keywords: Host-guest chemistry; Supramolecular chemistry; Coordination cage; X-ray crystallography; binding constants

Subject Areas: Chemistry


Instruments: I19-Small Molecule Single Crystal Diffraction