The research results obtained in the self-assembly of cavitand-based coordination cages are presented. Cavitands are ideal multidentate ligands for the creation of coordination cages due to their structural rigidity, concave structure, and great versatility in terms of synthetic modularity. The introduction of the ligand moieties on the resorcinarene building block proceeds at the upper rim of the cavity, to take full advantage of the structural rigidity of the cavitand scaffold. Two different synthetic strategies are employed for the formation of multidentate cavitand ligands: (a) functionalization at the apical positions and (b) introduction of the ligands as bridging units. The key features to control the cage self-assembly process emerging from this overview are the preorganization, for the cavitands, and kinetic versus thermodynamic stability of the resulting complexes, for the connecting metal. The versatility of this class of coordination cages is demonstrated by the formation of their heterotopic and heteronuclear versions, as well as their self-assembly on gold and silicon surfaces. Desymmetrization of the cages is appealing because of the resulting differentiation of the inner cavities in terms of shape and interactivity, while surface self-assembly represents an important opportunity to expand the application range of these objects.
Cavitand-Based Coordination Cages: Achievements and Current Challenges / R. Pinalli; F. Boccini; E. Dalcanale. - In: ISRAEL JOURNAL OF CHEMISTRY. - ISSN 0021-2148. - 51(2011), pp. 781-797. [10.1002/ijch.201100057]
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