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J Am Chem Soc. 2013 Nov 27;135(47):17913-8. doi: 10.1021/ja4086935. Epub 2013 Oct 11.

Toward a single-layer two-dimensional honeycomb supramolecular organic framework in water.

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  • 1Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences , 345 Lingling Lu, Shanghai 200043, China.


The self-assembly of well-defined 2D supramolecular polymers in solution has been a challenge in supramolecular chemistry. We have designed and synthesized a rigid stacking-forbidden 1,3,5-triphenylbenzene compound that bears three 4,4'-bipyridin-1-ium (BP) units on the peripheral benzene rings. Three hydrophilic bis(2-hydroxyethyl)carbamoyl groups are introduced to the central benzene ring to suppress 1D stacking of the triangular backbone and to ensure solubility in water. Mixing the triangular preorganized molecule with cucurbit[8]uril (CB[8]) in a 2:3 molar ratio in water leads to the formation of the first solution-phase single-layer 2D supramolecular organic framework, which is stabilized by the strong complexation of CB[8] with two BP units of adjacent molecules. The periodic honeycomb 2D framework has been characterized by various (1)H NMR spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering, X-ray diffraction and scattering, scanning probe and electron microscope techniques and by comparing with the self-assembled structures of the control systems.

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