The self-assembly of a new class of coordination cages formed from two tetra pyridyl-substituted cavitands connected through four square-planar palladium or platinum complexes is reported. The shape of the internal cavity resembles an ellipsoid with a calculated volume of 840 Angstrom(3). The four lateral portals have a diameter of about 6 Angstrom, large enough to allow the fast entrance/ egress of counterions in solution. The platinum cages 3a,e cannot be disassembled using triethylamine as competitive ligand and they are kinetically stable at room temperature, whereas the palladium cages 3b-d, 3f-h are disassembled and kinetically labile under the same conditions. The different solubility properties of the cage components have allowed the extension of this selfassembly protocol to the liquid-liquid interface.
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