The self-assembly of catenanes incorporating cyclobis(paraquat-p-phenylene) and either bis(metaphenylene)-32-crown-10 or tris(metaphenylene)-48-crown-15 has been achieved. The dynamic processes associated with the relative motions of the two rings have been studied by variable temperature 1H NMR spectroscopy. Both catenanes display rapid relative movements of the two components, associated with free energies of activation in the region 12–14 kcal mol-1 for different processes. The resorcinol residues of the macrocyclic polyethers are bound in the cavity of the cyclophane by π-π stacking, electrostatic interactions, and T-type hydrogen bonding.
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