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Conformational control enables boroxine-to-boronate cage metamorphosis

AuthorsRondelli, Manuel CSIC ORCID; Delgado-Hernández, Samuel CSIC ORCID; Hernández Daranas, Antonio CSIC ORCID ; Martín, Tomás CSIC ORCID
KeywordsConformational control
boroxine-toboronate cage metamorphosis
Issue Date5-Oct-2023
PublisherRoyal Society of Chemistry (UK)
CitationChemical Science: 1-8 (2023)
AbstractThe discovery of molecular organic cages (MOCs) is inhibited by the limited organic-chemical space of the building blocks designed to fulfill strict geometric requirements for efficient assembly. Using intramolecular attractive or repulsive non-covalent interactions to control the conformation of flexible systems can effectively augment the variety of building blocks, ultimately facilitating the exploration of new MOCs. In this study, we introduce a set of boronic acid tripods that were designed using rational design principles. Conformational control was induced by extending the tripod's arms by a 2,3-dimethylbenzene unit, leading to the efficient formation of a tetrapodal nanometer-sized boroxine cage. The new building block's versatility was demonstrated by performing cage metamorphosis upon adding an aromatic tetraol. This led to a quantitative boroxine-to-boronate transformation and a topological shift from tetrahedral to trigonal bipyramidal.
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