The Mechanisms of Making Molecules to Order

Christopher L. Brown, Douglas Philp, Neil Spencer, J. Fraser Stoddart*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The mechanisms of formation of a [2]catenane and one of its molecular components have been investigated. While the synthesis of the tetracationic cyclophane, BBIPYBIXYCY4+ from bipyridine BP and 1,4‐bis(bromomethyl)benzene BBB, directed by the template, 1,5–bis[2(2–hydroxyethoxy)ethoxy]naphthalene1/5BHEEN becomes less efficient (23 to 5%) under ultra‐high pressure reaction conditions (12 kbars), the self‐assembly of {[2]‐[BPP34C10]‐[BBIPYBIXYCY] catenane}4+ from BP and BBB in the presence of BPP34C10 can be achieved with increased efficiency (18 to 42%) at 12 kbars. This difference in the trends of the yields can be ascribed to the enhanced templating action of BPP34C10 relative to that of 1/5BHEEN when two moles of BP and two moles of BBB are being employed to construct the tetracationic cyclophane. The self‐assembly of the [2]catenane from BP, BBB, and BPP34C10 has been followed by 1H NMR spectroscopy in D7‐DMF solution. On the basis of this spectroscopic evidence and supporting chemical data, the formation of [2]‐[BPP34C10]‐[BBIPYBIXYCY] catenane4+ from two moles of BP, two moles of BBB, and one mole of BPP34C10 is believed to proceed via the monoquatemary intermediate, MBXYBIPY+, which has not been isolated, and the dicationic species, BBIPYXY2+, which has been isolated and shown to be an intermediate in the self‐assembly process leading to the [2]catenane, presumably via the BXYBBIPYXY3+ trication — the final intermediate which again has not been isolated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-67
Number of pages7
JournalIsrael Journal of Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'The Mechanisms of Making Molecules to Order'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this