Inspired by the concept of multivalency and in pursuit of ever more intricate artificial molecular machines, we investigated the strict self-assembly of a triply threaded two-component superbundle, starting from a tritopic receptor in which three benzocrown-8 macrorings are fused onto a triphenylene core and a trifurcated trication wherein three bipyridinium units are linked 1,3,5 to a central benzenoid core. The result of the investigation was quite unexpected and surprising. It transpired that the rapid formation of a doubly threaded two-component complex was followed by an extremely slow conversion (a week at 253 K in CD3COCD3 to reach equilibrium) of this kinetically controlled product into a thermodynamically controlled one, namely a triply threaded two-component superbundle. This intriguing observation begs the question: are there instances in nature where multivalency is expressed as a kinetically controlled process, prior to an equilibrium state being reached, and if so, what are the biological implications, if any?
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry