Self assembly of multiple components into well-defined and predictable structures is one of the great challenges of chemistry. In a paper published in Science, researchers from New York University and the University of Milano-Bicocca report the creation, through self assembly, of a supramolecular cage assembled from 20 ions of 3 different species through 72 hydrogen bonds. The cage, with an internal volume of 2200 cubic angstroms, is of the form of a truncated octahedron, one of the Archimedean polyhedra. Said octahedron serves as the composite building unit of a body-centred cubic framework with the ability to encapsulate a wide range of differently charged species, including organic molecules, transition metal complexes, and “ship-in-a-bottle” nanoclusters. The crystalline structure was ascertained using crystal diffraction at the ChemMatCARS 15-IDB Crystallography station, at the APS.
Yuzhou Liu, Chunhua Hu, Angiolina Comotti, Michael D. Ward
Supramolecular Archimedean Cages Assembled with 72 Hydrogen Bonds
Science 333 (6041), 436-440 (2011). Author affiliations: 1New York University; 2University of Milano-Bicocca.