Molecular Russian dolls

Kang Cai, Mark C. Lipke, Zhichang Liu, Jordan Nelson, Tao Cheng, Yi Shi, Chuyang Cheng, Dengke Shen, Ji Min Han, Suneal Vemuri, Yuanning Feng, Charlotte L. Stern, William A. Goddard, Michael R. Wasielewski, J. Fraser Stoddart*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


The host-guest recognition between two macrocycles to form hierarchical non-intertwined ring-in-ring assemblies remains an interesting and challenging target in noncovalent synthesis. Herein, we report the design and characterization of a box-in-box assembly on the basis of host-guest radical-pairing interactions between two rigid diradical dicationic cyclophanes. One striking feature of the box-in-box complex is its ability to host various 1,4-disubstituted benzene derivatives inside as a third component in the cavity of the smaller of the two diradical dicationic cyclophanes to produce hierarchical Russian doll like assemblies. These results highlight the utility of matching the dimensions of two different cyclophanes as an efficient approach for developing new hybrid supramolecular assemblies with radical-paired ring-in-ring complexes and smaller neutral guest molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5275
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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