Container Chemistry: Manipulating excited state behavior of organic guests within cavitands that form capsules in water

Pradeepkumar Jagadesan, Shampa R. Samanta, Rajib Choudhury, Vaidhyanathan Ramamurthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Two new cavitands substituted with acid and alcohol groups (tetra-acid tetra-alcohol [TATA] and inverted TATA [iTATA]) bearing the same molecular skeleton as octa acid (OA) have been synthesized and their use as photochemical reaction containers explored. Isothermal calorimetric titration experiments suggest that the inclusion of organic molecules within these cavitands is driven both by favorable ΔH and ΔS and the substituents at the portals have little role to play. Comparison of the 2 new cavitands with the previous results on OA reveals that the presence of benzoate anion at the top periphery is essential for the cavitand to be a triplet sensitizer. Polarity within the water-soluble capsules, resulting from TATA and iTATA, was found to be close to that of ethylacetate and hydrocarbons, similar to that of OA. Photophysical studies with anthracene and camphorthione as guests disclose that the capsules made of 2 molecules of cavitands do not disassemble in the time scale of the excited states of the above guests (S1 in the case of anthracene and T1 in the case of camphorthione). Capsules ability to confine guests and the resulting photochemical intermediates has been tested by examining the photochemistry of 1-phenyl-3-para-tolyl-2-propanone. The radicals resulting from the Norrish type 1 cleavage of 1-phenyl-3-para-tolyl-2-propanone did not escape the cage and gave products, resulting from 100% cage effect. Availability of TATA and iTATA along with already reported similar cavitands expands the list of water-soluble capsule forming cavitands that could be used as molecular containers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere3728
JournalJournal of Physical Organic Chemistry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • cage effect
  • capsules
  • excimer
  • photochemistry
  • photophysics
  • water-soluble cavitands

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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