Cucurbiturils as versatile receptors for redox active substrates

Angel E. Kaifer, Wei Li, Song Yi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Research on the chemistry of cucurbit[n]uril (CBn) hosts has picked up and maintained an impressive pace in the last decade, primarily due to the isolation of hosts with relatively larger cavity sizes, such as CB7 and CB8. This review article summarizes our involvement in this research effort, with particular emphasis on the binding of redox active guests by the CB7 and CB8 hosts. The binding of 4,4′-bipyridinium (viologen) derivatives was the starting point of our CB research. While methylviologen is encapsulated by CB7, forming a highly symmetric inclusion complex, more hydrophobic viologens are bound by inclusion of one of the terminal N-substituents inside the host cavity. Cationic ferrocene derivatives reach extremely high binding affinities with CB7. Binding by CB8 offers additional possibilities, since this host may accommodate two aromatic units inside its cavity, which can be utilized to exert redox control on the assembly of suitably dendronized guests. From a purely electrochemical standpoint, CB7-included viologens maintain their voltammetric reversibility, but CB7-included ferrocene residues experience a pronounced attenuation of their electron transfer kinetics. We have also applied these binding and electrochemical properties to the design and preparation of switchable, CB-based pseudorotaxanes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)496-505
Number of pages10
JournalIsrael Journal of Chemistry
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - May 2011


  • Cucurbiturils
  • Electrochemistry
  • Fluorescent sensors
  • j-aggregates
  • Nitroxide probes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Cucurbiturils as versatile receptors for redox active substrates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this