Right Angles in the Right Place

Right Angles in the Right Place

Author: Anne Deveson

Molecular objects with defined geometry, such as metallorectangles and metallosquares, are of special interest as they have applications in host-guest chemistry and catalysis. They can also be used for further assembly of complex systems.

Hak-Fun Chow, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Xiao-Ping Cao, Lanzhou University, China, and Dietmar Kuck, Bielefeld University, Germany, have developed an elegant strategy for the stepwise assembly of tribenzotriquinacene (TBTQ) corners with linear platinum-diacetylene edges to create enantiomerically pure metallosquares. TBTQ was chosen for the corner units owing to the orthogonal disposition of the three indane wings within the molecule.

The researchers were able to show that the resulting metallosquares could act as building blocks in further self-assembly reactions to give uniformly sized microspheres of approximately 300 nm. In addition, the well-defined chirality of the squares makes them interesting candidates for chiral recognition applications.


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