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Acc Chem Res. 2007 Apr;40(4):233-42. Epub 2007 Feb 7.

Evolution of organo-cyanometallate cages: supramolecular architectures and new Cs+-specific receptors.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA.


The ability of inorganic cyanometallate polymers to form interesting and useful complexes is well-known. This Account summarizes work, especially in our laboratories, aimed at replicating aspects of this inorganic chemistry in homogeneous solution using organometallic building blocks. A library of molecular organometallic cyanides and Lewis acids, with varying charges and labilities, are shown to give families of neutral and charged cages. Neutral and anionic cages, often molecular boxes, bind larger alkali metals tightly. Cubic frameworks show an unparalleled affinity for cesium cations over potassium cations. Noncubic cages are described including tetrahedranes, defect boxes, trigonal prisms, and hexagonal prisms.

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