Sulfonatocalix[8] arene as a Potential Reaction Cavity: Photo- and electro-active dicationic guests arrest conformational equilibrium

Raja Kaliappan, Yonghua Ling, Angel E. Kaifer, V. Ramamurthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Smaller members of water-soluble sulfonated calixarenes have been extensively explored in the context of host-guest complexation, supramolecular chemistry, and potential sensors. However, larger members especially eight-membered calixarene (CA[8]) has received much less attention because of its floppy nature and tendency to exist as a mixture of conformational isomers. Our continued interest in identifying molecules with an internal cavity as reaction vessels has led us to examine the host-guest complexation of CA[8] with photoactive bispyridyl ethylenes. We find that 4,4'-bispyridyl ethylene and 3,3'-bispyridyl ethylene upon complexation to CA[8] arrest the conformational equilibrium and force the latter to adopt a single conformation in solution. During complexation, bispyridyl ethylenes are protonated by the sulfonic acid groups of CA[8]. The host-guest complex is stabilized via an electrostatic interaction between the cationic bispyridyl ethylenes and anionic sulfonated calix[8]arene, and we propose the complex to have an inverted capsular structure. This model is also consistent with the electrochemical behavior of 4,4'-dimethylviologen included within CA[8]. Rigidification of bispyridyl ethylenes by the host has a consequence on the excited-state chemistry of the former. Generally, prevalent geometric isomerization of bispyridyl ethylenes are prevented by CA[8] upon complexation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8982-8992
Number of pages11
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 18 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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