A water-soluble octahedral Pd nanocage acting as a reaction vessel templates the photodimerization of substituted trans-cinnamic acid methyl esters in water. Irradiation of the host-guest complexes of trans-cinnamic acid methyl esters with the Pd nanocage resulted in selective formation of a syn head-head dimer in addition to the corresponding cis isomer. These results suggest that the guest molecules are preoriented in a selective fashion with the hydrophilic ester group facing water and the hydrophobic aryl group tucked within the cavity of the host. Such an orientation occurs at the hydrophobic-hydrophilic interface between the nanocage exterior and interior. Weak intermolecular C-H-π and π-π interactions between the host and the guest(s) are likely to be responsible for the lack of mobility of the reactant olefins during their short excited-state lifetime.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Organic Chemistry