Catalysis inside the Hexameric Resorcinarene Capsule

Zhang, Qi and Catti, Lorenzo and Tiefenbacher, Konrad. (2018) Catalysis inside the Hexameric Resorcinarene Capsule. Accounts of Chemical Research, 51 (9). pp. 2107-2114.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/68397/

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In this Account, we outline our investigation into the supramolecular resorcinarene capsule as a catalyst. Molecular capsules not only are of interest due to the similarities of their binding pockets with those of natural enzymes but also feature potential advantages for catalysis. Due to the restricted internal volume of the binding pockets, substrate selectivities are commonly observed. Substrates that are encapsulated more efficiently will be converted selectively in the presence of less suitable substrates. This size selectivity cannot be obtained in a regular solution experiment. In addition, because of the distinct chemical environment inside the capsule, different product selectivities may be observed. Furthermore, the encapsulation of reactive catalysts inside confined environments may improve catalyst compatibility for multicatalyst tandem reactions.
Although the potential advantages of performing catalysis inside closed microenvironments are generally recognized, the number of known catalytically active supramolecular host systems is still very limited. There are several reasons, the most important of which is that it is very difficult to predict the catalytic potential of known supramolecular host systems. In several cases, even the encapsulation behavior of host systems is not completely understood or explored. Therefore, it is evident that further research is required to explore the potential of catalysis inside supramolecular capsules.
Our initial research mainly focused on understanding the puzzling encapsulation behavior of the self-assembled resorcinarene capsule I and the closely related pyrogallolarene capsule II. After the elucidation of the decisive differences between these two systems, we explored the catalytic potential of capsule I. A variety of different reactions were successfully performed inside its cavity. The most important examples highlighted in this Account are iminium catalysis, the tail-to-head terpene cyclization, and the carbonyl–olefin metathesis. In the case of proline-mediated iminium catalysis, we were able to demonstrate that the enantioselectivity for the product formation was increased when the reaction was performed inside the cavity of capsule I. This is remarkable since the capsule is formed from achiral building blocks and, therefore, does not add chiral information to the reaction mixture. The tail-to-head terpene cyclization is the most complex reaction performed so far inside capsule I. The cyclic monoterpenes eucalyptol and α-terpinene were formed in useful yields. Interestingly, these products have not yet been synthetically accessible in solution directly from acyclic terpene precursors. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the cocatalytic system of capsule I and HCl is suitable for carbonyl-olefin metathesis. HCl was shown to be an inefficient catalyst for this reaction in solution experiments. This demonstrates that the different chemical environment inside the supramolecular container can lead to altered product selectivity. In general, we hope to demonstrate in this Account that research on catalysis inside supramolecular capsules, although still in its infancy, is starting to produce the first synthetically relevant results.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Chemie
05 Faculty of Science > Departement Chemie > Chemie > Synthesis of Functional Modules (Tiefenbacher)
UniBasel Contributors:Tiefenbacher, Konrad Karl and Zhang, Qi and Catti, Lorenzo
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:American Chemical Society
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 13:11
Deposited On:02 Jul 2019 11:19

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