Ward Group in Science: Supramolecular Archimedean Cages

The Ward Group has published a paper in the July 22 issue of Science (Vol. 333 no. 6041 pp. 436-440).  The paper, entitled "Supramolecular Archimedean Cages Assembled with 72 Hydrogen Bonds," was co-authored by Yuzhou Liu, Chunhua Hu, Angiolina Comotti and Michael D. Ward.  Yuzhou is a graduate student in the NYU Chemistry Molecular Design Institute, Chunhua (called Tony) is the NYU Chemistry X-ray Crystallographer, and Angiolina is a colleague from the University of Milan Department of Materials Science. In addition, Science saw fit to publish commentary on the research in an article called, "A Versatile Molecular Trap Built from Hydrogen-Bonded Tiles" by Joseph W. Lauher, the research is featured on the New York University Research website in a press release entitled, "Chemists Create Molecular Polyhedron -- and Potential to Enhance Industrial and Consumer Products," and the work was covered in the July 25 issue of C&E News (Volume 89, number 30, p.7) in an article called, "One Home for Various Guests," by Bethany Halford.

Self-assembly of multiple components into well-defined and predictable structures remains one of the foremost challenges in chemistry. Here, we report on the rational design of a supramolecular cage assembled from 20 ions of three distinct species through 72 hydrogen bonds. The cage is constructed from two kinds of hexagonal molecular tiles, a tris(guanidinium)nitrate cluster and a hexa(4-sulfonatophenyl)benzene, joined at their edges through complementary and metrically matched N-H···O-S hydrogen bonds to form a truncated octahedron, one of the Archimedean polyhedra. The truncated octahedron, with an interior volume of 2200 cubic angstroms, serves as the composite building unit of a body-centered cubic zeolite-like framework, which exhibits an ability to encapsulate a wide range of differently charged species, including organic molecules, transition metal complexes, and “ship-in-a-bottle” nanoclusters not observed otherwise.

This research was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, including the MRSEC Program.


Updated on 09/03/2013